RACKETEERS are selling babies for between RM10,000 and RM18,000 per child, said Berita Harian, reporting about a syndicate uncovered by Kuala Lumpur police last week.
The price takes into account various factors, including the baby’s age, sex and skin colour. A fair-skinned baby boy, for instance, would be in greater demand and fetch a higher price.
Police have nabbed nine people, including three on Jan 14 and six others on Monday. The syndicate, believed to have a nationwide network, is said to have sold 27 babies to date.
Among those arrested were two senior citizens in their 60s, who had tried to sell a 25-day-old baby for RM18,000 to a housewife in Gombak.
The baby, believed to belong to an Indonesian couple, has a legal birth certificate and was born at a clinic in Sentul.
City police chief Datuk Mustafa Abdullah said the police were investigating the possibility of “insiders” issuing the birth certificate to the syndicate.
This, he said, raised questions on how the baby was issued an authentic Malaysian birth certificate when the child belonged to a foreign couple.
The police, however, have not ascertained whether the parents of the baby were illegal immigrants or had entered the country legally.
“I do not rule out the possibility of the syndicate having international links. However, so far, they have not sold any babies from Aceh,” Mustafa said.
He advised those who had been duped into buying babies from the syndicate to report to the nearest police to avoid legal action.
Utusan Malaysia reported that former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin will help to rebuild the Pesantren Maghfirah hostel and school in Banda Aceh to house orphaned children affected by the tsunami tragedy.
The daily said Daim decided to do that after visiting two areas at Babun Najah and Babun Zahidin where the orphans were sheltered. He said they were living in cramped quarters there.
“I have personally asked the religious school’s management to prepare the building plan for the hostel and school, including the cost,” he was quoted by the daily as saying.
The Pesantren Maghfirah has about 300 orphans, mostly those whose parents had died in the Dec 26 disaster.
Daim was quoted as saying that the earmarked area for the new hostels and schools could house 500 orphans at the start, adding that the schools’ management had told him they would give the building plans by next Tuesday.
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