CBI goes after foster parents in child racket


BY: K Praveen Kumar,TNN

CHENNAI: The CBI Anti-Corruption Bureau in Tamil Nadu, which is investigating a child adoption racket that was busted by the city police in May 2005, will try to contact the foreign foster parents who adopted the children with the help of an illegal agency in Chennai.

According to sources in CBI, three foster families based in the Netherlands, Australia and the US would be contacted. CBI will also review the procedures followed by the foster parents for the adoption.

"The Central Crime Branch of city police had investigated only the local angle. They have handed over the investigation details which prima facie provides evidence against the adoption agency. Now we want to know about the procedures used by the foster parents who adopted children from Chennai," a senior CBI officer told The Times of India .

The case had originated on the basis of complaints from parents about missing children. One of them, the child of Kathiravel and Nagamani, pavement-dwellers in Pulianthope, had been allegedly kidnapped and sold to a Dutch couple.

Similarly, the four-year-old child of Sylvia, a woman from Otteri, was kidnapped from an auto and sold to a couple in Australia. Another couple from the city had lost their one-and-a-half-year old child, who was traced to the US.

The racket was busted in the city in the first week of May 2005 after the Otteri police received specific information about kidnapping of children in and around Otteri.

The police team then started investigations and arrested seven people identified as Varadharajan, Sheikh Dawood, Navjeen, Sabeera, Manoharan, Salima and K.T. Dawood. They subsequently traced the racket to an illegal adoption agency, Malaysian Social Service, which had kidnapped street children and sold them to foreigners after forging certificates. The case was subsequently transferred to the Crime Branch.

The Crime Branch then arrested the director of the adoption agency, Ravindranath, his wife Vatsala, and Dinesh, a secretary of the same agency.

In September 2006, while expressing serious concern over human trafficking, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court had handed over the investigation of the three cases of illegal child adoption to the CBI in September 2006.

"Now we are in the process of contacting these parents. The investigation will not be completed unless we get details regarding the procedures adopted by them," a CBI official said. CBI had formed a special team and registered three cases. The CBI has the names of eleven persons in the list of accused in these three cases.

The investigation to this case would be concluded soon, the CBI sources added.


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