Mumbai baby dealer was helped by agents in tracking customers; illegal IVF centres under lens
Julia Fernandes, a Worli resident who was arrested on Friday, has told the police that she had a chain of agentsUpdated: Sep 27, 2017 00:35 IST
After the arrest of a 29-year-old woman for allegedly running a baby selling racket, the police are investigating the involvement of unauthorised IVF centres.
Julia Fernandes, a Worli resident who was arrested on Friday, has told the police that she had a chain of agents who not only tracked down poor parents wanting sell their child, but also took the newborns to the clients.
“The unauthorised IVF centres are under scanner as they could lead us to an inter-state racket of agents across the country involved in buying and selling of newborns,” said an officer from the Wadala TT police station.
Sources from the police station said that after checking Fernandes’ call records, they have sent teams to Gorakhpur and Delhi in search of the agents who worked for her.
On Monday, Fernandes confessed to have sold six newborns to childless couples in the past six months. She claimed that she was only the middle person who cracked a deal with childless couple as she was well educated. Delivering the newborns to childless couples was done by the agents who worked for the IVF centres.
“Fernandes has not been cooperating with the police. She has not named anyone except someone called Ahmed,” said a police officer.
The police said Ahmed and Fernandes have known each other for the past six years. “Ahmed and the other agents earned commissions from the IVF centres for providing sperm donors and surrogate mothers for Rs1 lakh or Rs2 lakh,” said the police officer.
Fernandes came in touch with Ahmed when she went to an IVF centre as a surrogate. She learnt about the child selling racket and became a part of it.
The police are facing an uphill task to trace the six newborns who were sold in the past six months. “We have arrested the father of the seven-day-old boy who was rescued before Fernandes could sell him off,” the officer added.
Baby selling racket busted, 2 infants rescued, 8 arrested in Thane
A one-month-old boy and a four-month-old girl were rescued by the Thane police on Sunday before a gang operating in Thane and Mumbra could sell off the babies.
The police arrested eight people, including six women — one of whom was the mother of the four-month-old girl.
Nitin Thackeray, senior police inspector, of crime branch unit 1, said, “We rescued two infants who were about to be sold by the gang for money. The mother of the four-month-old girl was also arrested. The infants were born in a village in Ahmednagar and were brought to the city to be sold to rich couples who did not have children.”
Rakhi Babarey, 38, Harjinder Gil, 42, Kaveri Das, 32, Neelam Shirsat, 28, Mohini Gaikwad, 45, Janabai Khotkar, 35, Mangal Superkar, 35, and Santosh Gaikwad, 38, were arrested for running the baby selling racket.
On Sunday, the police laid a trap near Modella Check Naka on LBS Road after a tip-off.
Thackeray said, “We got a tip-off about the racket and laid a trap. We saw a couple carrying the one-month-old baby and asked their names. But, they gave evasive replies. We arrested them under the Juvenile Justice Act and kidnapping of minor and selling of a minor for the purpose of prostitution.”
The couple told the police that a woman from Ahmednagar had sold the child to two women from Mumbra. The women gave them the child who was to be sold in Mumbai.
“We traced the two women from Mumbra. We found another child, the four-month-old girl, with them. We were not able to trace the mother of the one-month-old. Investigations are on,” Thackeray added.
The infants were allegedly being sold for more than Rs1.35 lakh.
First Published: Sep 27, 2017 00:34 IST