Adoption kingpins in CBI cradle
K Praveen Kumar
CHENNAI: Making fresh breakthrough in the illegal child adoption case, the sleuths of CBI's anti-corruption bureau on Friday arrested the chairperson of Malaysian Social Service Agency (MSSA) and its manager Somasundaram. Both Vatsala and Somasundaram were arrested by the central crime branch of city police in 2005 during a crackdown on MSSA's illegal activities including kidnapping and selling of children to couples abroad.
Anti-corruption bureau officials picked up the duo from their residences at Thiruverkadu and Koyambedu. "We are investigating three cases registered with the crime branch, which were handed over to us by the Madras High Court.
Vatsala and Somasundaram were arrested by the CCB in two cases and now we have found out their active involvement in a third case also, where they had kidnapped a child from the suburbs and given him for adoption to a US-based couple.
We have made the arrests on the basis of this case," a CBI source told Times Of India. Both Vatsala and Somasundaram were out on bail in the cases filed by the crime branch. CBI sleuths raided the office premises of MSSA in Thiruverkadu and in another five places including the houses of company employees and a former director. The raids, which started in the early hours of Friday, continued till evening.
Ravindranath, husband of director Vatsala and the main accused in this case, died two years ago.
"We have seized some documents and CDs from these places. We are in the process of scrutinising them and hope to unravel more details about the adoptions carried out by the agency," the official said.
In May 2005, the crime branch of the city police had arrested Somasundaram, Vatsala and Ravindranath along with 10 others. Somasundaram was charged with signing fake documents to help the agency sell about 40 children to foreign couples and for his involvement in the kidnap of a child from a government hospital in Salem in 1999. The cases of illegal adoption came to light in the first week of May 2005, when the Otteri police received specific information about kidnapping of children from residential areas. They busted the racket, exposing the malpractice in child adoption