Bulgarian Couple Tried To Sell Their Baby Boy in Cyprus
Two Bulgarians, a man and a woman, tried to sell their baby in an illegal adoption scam in Cyprus.
In the course of an unprecedented two-day police operation, a total of five suspects were arrested.
The court ruled that the suspects be kept in custody for two days, according to the Bulgarian National Radio.
The suspects were charged with participating in an illegal adoption scheme.
The investigation may result in intercepting an international illegal adoption ring.
The biological parents of the baby are Bulgarian citizens, aged 38 and 44, who live together but are not married.
The baby, a boy, was born on November 6, in a private obstetrics & gynecology clinic in Larnaca.
On November 8, the mother left the hospital and the baby.
On the same day, an investigation started, followed by the arrest of the Bulgarian couple, a doctor from the Larnaca-based clinic, and the Cypriot family who wanted to adopt the baby.
According to the testimony given in court, the mother had wanted to get an abortion but had been talked into keeping the child, with the doctor vowing to cover the costs for the pregnancy and the birth and saying that he baby would be put up for adoption in exchange for EUR 10 000.
The Bulgarian couple was found to possess EUR 5000 upon arrest.
The same amount of money was found in the bag of the Cypriot woman who had sought to take the baby.
During a search of the clinic and the apartment of the doctor involved in the scandal, police seized computers, paperwork, and a sum of EUR 4365.
The Cypriot couple of candidate-adopters explained that there had been no way for them to take the child without going through the respective court procedures.
In her testimony to the court, the biological mother said that she wanted to get her child back.
The baby was placed at a state-owned hospital in Larnaka, under the care of social services and guarded by police.
The ongoing investigation is to include the questioning of around 40 witnesses, including people related to the family and friends of the suspects, social services workers, Health Ministry officials, the staff of the Larnaca-based clinic, and a lawyer's office.
The court is expected to issue a ruling for opening bank accounts and accessing phone call data and contacts of the five suspects.
Europol was asked to help establish whether the two Bulgarians had committed similar crimes before that case.
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