The police investigating the Ulhasnagar child-selling racket said they suspected that the main accused in the case, Vijaya Sonawane and Ratna Obale, were also running an illegal surrogacy racket.
Narendra Jadhav, inspector, Hill Line police station, said they were investigating all angles.
Jadhav said the police were the complainants in the case and had filed an offence against Sonawane, 47, Obale, 35, Pradhan Kanojia, 40, and Babli Kanojia, 35. All four were arrested on Thursday evening.
The Ulhasnagar court has, however, refused to accept the police plea and has granted bail to all four accused. The investigating officer in the case said the police had requested for seven days custody in order to investigate and dig out more details in the child-selling and surrogacy racket.
During her interrogation, Sonawane confessed that she had sold the Kanojias’ child for Rs2.30 lakh and that the amount was distributed three ways. Sonawane took Rs70,000, Obale Rs20,000 and the rest of the money, Rs1.40 lakh, was given to the Kanojias.
Sonawane also confessed that she had earlier sold five children in Nashik, Alibaug, Pune and Navi Mumbai. However, she could only recall the name of the Sindhi family from Nashik.
During investigations, the police found that the woman was also running an illegal surrogacy racket, where she used to supply girls and young women to hospitals or families who conceived children for childless couples.
Sonawane, an employee at the Shanti-Bhuvan orphanage for disabled children in Ulhasnagar, was part of a racket where needy and underprivileged women from Mumbai and Nashik-Pune areas were asked give birth to children, which were then sold to childless couples.
One such child was purchased by two tabloid newspapers reporters who posed as a childless couple, for Rs2.30 lakh rupees, without any legal procedures being followed.