The gang would steal children from the beggars on streets and sell them for 200,000 rupees in cities like Bengaluru.
Chennai: Six hospital staff in Karnataka have been charged with stealing babies, young children and for selling them to childless couples in an illegal adoption racket, police in Karnataka state said on Friday.
The three men & three women, who worked as the nurses & lab technicians at five private hospitals and the government-run hospital in Mysuru city, were part of a bigger, organized gang and have involved in trafficking children, investigating officer Ravi Channannavar said.
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“This gang targeted the poor couples coming to hospitals to deliver or get an abortion, in which case they induced them to deliver a child. They would then steal the babies,” he told to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In other cases, the gang would steal children from beggars on streets and sell them for 200,000 rupees in cities like Bengaluru.
“Our investigations have revealed that a group had sold at least 15 children to different childless couples,” Channannavar said.
“We have rescued three children so far and also looking for the others. There may be much more.”
Statements by arrested gang members indicate that the involvement of a doctor as well, police said.
The six were arrested on Tuesday following a lengthy investigation started in April when police received a complaint from a woman that her two-year-old son had been snatched off the street.
A Crime data released by the Indian government in August showed more than the 40 percent of human trafficking cases in 2015 involved of children being bought, sold and exploited as the modern day slaves.
“This case is one of a few that has come to light, but there are many more an unreported cases,” said Paul Sundar Singh of non-profit Karunalaya, which runs a centre for street children in Chennai.
“Stealing children is the big organized crime that police are still struggling to clamp down on across a country. Cases of young children stolen from the pavements of Chennai city earlier this year are still unsolved.”