International - Baby Trafficking In Serbia -





Award Winner's Serial


EXPOSING ADOPTION, March 2, 2018. / source
Born Between 1924 and 1980 and Adopted? Then You Likely Were Kidnapped! How the Birthparent Privacy Myth was Created

This pertains to those in the United States and Canada. Ireland that date goes as late as 1996, and I will discuss Ireland at a later point in time. I’m sure reading the title and thinking, my mother was born in 1950 and is adopted and then hearing the word kidnapped has to make you lean a little closer in your seat. I’m going to be honest. Origins Canada wrote an important article explaining how all, yes all, women and girls are subtly coerced out of their babies even to this day, and it’s a good read for anyone whether they are Canadian or American, as it happens here in the United States too. It’s not outright kidnapping anymore, oh wait yes that does still happen at times, but the subtle coercive tactics and propaganda used don’t make it right. This article discusses the kidnappings of 1924 to 1950. However, the Baby Scoop Era, depending on which state or province you’re from, lasted until around 1972 to around 1980.

According to Dr. Martha Stout, psychiatrist one in twenty five Americans is a sociopath or psychopath, properly called anti social personality disorder. Georgia Tann was a psychopath. She looked like a dear lady with that unseeming smile, but that’s how psychopaths work; with plenty of charm. It didn’t help either that her father was a judge.

Georgia Tann first started working for the Mississippi Children’s Home Society where she falsified adoption records. Nothing was done about this. Children were being adopted out to even Texas, and only one family sued the Children’s Home Society but Tann’s father being Judge Tann she never was punished.

With her thirst for power, Georgia Tann ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from 1924 until 1950. Tann and her accomplices including Judge Camille Kelley of Memphis (where 20% of Tennessee’s black market, in other words illegal adoptions occurred through her court room) kidnapped over five thousand children, and killed five hundred children through poor care. So how were they able to kidnap and murder so many children?

A. Bribing doctors to take away babies from women to give to rich couples.

B. Lying to women and saying their baby was born stillborn. This commonly happened to Jewish women and babies were sold into Christian families with many of the Christians not knowing the truth.

C. Falsfying records.

D. Not getting permission from both original parents (oh wait that’s still done in parts of America).

E. Kidnapping children left home alone when their “Mother popped round to the grocery store”.

F. Kidnapped out of preschools and daycare centres.

G. Kidnapped older children right off the street and told the children their parents died.

Georgia Tann was hugely responsible for creating the birthparent privacy myth, sealing adoption records and original birth certificates as they never were sealed before, and making the birthparent privacy myth that still is an infestation in modern society. Lana Turner, Pearl S. Buck (who coined the term birthmother to objectify women), June Allyson, Joan Crawford, and Senator Lehman were just some of the people who bought babies through Georgia Tann.

Senator Lehman after buying two children from kidnapper Georgia Tann signed the bill that Tann pushed to create evil, vicious closed adoptions in New York State. New York State was not the only state.

Tann has created a national disaster that has wreaked havoc for generations physically, mentally, and financially. It is my hope that Americans, and Canadians, can learn the damage done in order to unravel it.

Canadians* please see Butterbox Babies- Nova Scotia.

PS. Most of the babies kidnapped under Tann were blonde hair, blue eyed babies.

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ASHARQ AL-AWSAT, August 1, 2016. / source
Israel Finally Admits Kidnapping Yemeni Jewish Children and Selling them

TEL AVIV - After 60 years of denial, a high-ranking Israeli Government official has admitted for the first time that thousands of children were kidnapped in the 1950s from their Jewish mothers and fathers who had fled Yemen, before being given or sold to Jewish Ashkenazi families.
The official said that until today, those children do not know who their parents were.

In an interview with Channel 2 last Saturday, Minister-without-portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi of the Likud party said: “The deliberate operation of stealing hundreds of children truly happened.”

However, the minister did not explain in details to which parties the kids were handed to, but only said: “We hope to study the documents and evidences to understand what happened and try to reach a solution.”

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the issue of the Yemeni children constitutes an “open wound for many families that do not know what happened to their children who disappeared, and are still looking for the truth.”

The Yemeni children were kidnapped from Israeli hospitals.

Hanegbi reached his conclusions after examining classified documents linked to the affair from the state’s archives. Over the past several decades, there have been already 1.5 million documents gathered by three investigative committees tasked by the government to probe the case.

However, the three committees had reached the same conclusions: “children died in the hospital and were simply buried without the families being informed or involved.”

Hanegbi said: “In the past weeks and months the Israeli public has begun to understand that this is not a hallucination.”

Hanegbi said that he could not determine whether the government was involved in the kidnappings, or knew that they took place.

He said: “Did the establishment have knowledge or did it not know? did it organize it or not? We may never know.”

Hanegbi said he would continue to examine additional documents after November and would then present recommendations to the Israeli government to issue a decision that would declassify these documents.

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CNN, 25.5.2015. / source
Exclusive: Man stolen as baby reunites with mother 41 years later

Santiago, Chile - It was a hug kept on hold for more than 41 years. The hug of a mother and son whose lives were abruptly separated four decades ago.

Nelly Reyes had been waiting for hours in the international arrivals lounge at Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, holding a hand-made red poster board sign that said "Lovingly waiting for Travis, your mother Nelly and family." A granddaughter in her early 20s and a 10-year-old grandson keep her company.

On the other side of the terminal, going through immigration and customs, Travis Tolliver was anxious and nervous. Up until the last minute, mainly because of a language barrier, he didn't know if anybody would show up to greet him.

When he finally came out of the terminal, no words were needed. They rushed to each other's arms and held on for a long hug. Few relatives knew the real story.

Tolliver had tears of joy. "I don't know how I feel. It's crazy! I never thought this could happen," he said.

Reyes, 61, could barely talk. "I'm going to hug him every day. I love him so much," she said.

The emotions released in that hug at the airport were the culmination of four decades of heartbreak, lies, deception, criminal acts and an injustice that separated mother and son at birth.

Travis Tolliver sits in the center surrounded by his biological family in Chile. He&#39;s wearing a hat and a young girl in a purple T-shirt sits on his lap.

Stolen at birth

The newborn baby ended up living thousands of miles away, being raised in Tacoma, Washington, by a couple who had no knowledge of what had happened, while his biological mother cried and desperately tried to find her son.

Tolliver says he always knew he was adopted. What the 41-year-old supervisor at an imports distribution center didn't know was that he was stolen as a baby in his native Chile, only hours after his birth.

He hopes that knowing the truth about his past will now allow him to overcome a psychological trauma he has suffered for as long as he can remember. He says he has "abandonment issues."

"You know, I wasn't given up willingly like I thought for all these years, so that makes my heart feel wonderful; but it's just coming to terms with that. This whole thing still seems unreal to me," Tolliver said.

This picture shows Travis as a newborn baby after being adopted. His biological mother says he was stolen from her hours after his birth in 1973.

Reyes says she had a normal pregnancy with no medical issues. The mother of six children, including Tolliver, says she gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 4 p.m. on November 15, 1973. She was 19.

But her joy quickly turned to sadness when a nurse told the baby was born with a heart condition and was unlikely to survive.

"Hours later they told me he had died," Reyes said. Despite her multiple pleas, Reyes says she was never shown a body and was never given a death certificate.

Chile's 'Children of Silence'

Travis Tolliver -- third child from the right in the front row -- attended preschool in Washington state.

Tolliver's case is not unique in Chile, according to Marcela Labrana, the director of the country's child protection agency (SENAME, by its Spanish acronym).

"This is no longer a myth. We know nowadays that this happened and it was real. It's not a tale that a couple of people were telling," Labrana said.

Her agency is currently investigating hundreds of cases, but Labrana says there could be thousands of cases of illegal adoptions from the 1970s and 1980s, when the country was ruled by a repressive dictatorship.

Tolliver and Reyes believe he was stolen. He is now working with authorities to find out what exactly happened to him.

In Chile they call them "Children of Silence." Some babies were stolen and sold. Other newborns were given away by their grandparents who conspired with doctors, priests and nuns to hide a daughter's socially embarrassing pregnancy.

Priest investigated

Prosecutor Mario Carroza investigated Gerardo Joannon, a priest accused of acting as a secret liaison between well-to-do families in Chile and adoptive parents as a part of a scheme also involving doctors, nurses and nuns in the 1970s.

Carroza says the priest, who belongs to the Sacred Hearts congregation, was investigated for the crimes of theft of minors, falsification of documents, and usurpation of identity.

To the dismay of those seeking answers, Carroza determined that even though Joannon might have committed those crimes, it was so long ago that he couldn't be prosecuted.

"In this case we're talking about a period between 15 and 20 years ago, which means the statute of limitations has run out," Carroza said.

The congregation to which Father Joannon belongs also conducted an internal investigation last year into the allegations and sent its findings to the Vatican. The Holy See later determined that even though the priest had made ethical and moral mistakes, none of his actions had risen to the level of a violation of canon law.

In his only on-camera interview in April 2014 with Chile's Channel 13, Joannon denied all the accusations, including telling women their children had died in order to give the babies to other couples.

"I never told anybody the babies had died because I didn't even know if they had been born, or if they were male or female," he said on Channel 13. "I never knew anything."

Travis Tolliver poses with his adoptive U.S. parents, his wife and their two children in 2010. His parents were told Travis was an abandoned baby.


In Tolliver's case, it's not clear who took him from his mother or whether there was any money involved.

Tolliver says his U.S. adoptive parents never knew he had been stolen. They were told he was an abandoned baby.

Tolliver also says he tried to find his biological parents when he was in his 20s but didn't have the connections to make it happen.

It was not until last year, he says, that he determined he needed to find the truth about his past not only for himself, but also for his two children. He says the decision was, in part, motivated by seeing several news stories about stolen children in Chile, including CNN's "Children of Silence."

The news that he was matched to his biological mother through DNA testing has been difficult to digest, Tolliver says, especially for his adoptive mother.

"But she's always going to be my mom -- it's just that I have two now -- she raised me. I am who I am because of what she did for me. She's always going to have a place in my heart and it's not like I'm replacing her or anything like that," Tolliver said.

Travis is getting to know his family history, including his sister Jessica Catalan and biological mother Nelly Reyes.

Reuniting with siblings

Since reuniting with his biological mother, Tolliver has been busy meeting four brothers and one sister and seeing the sights of the country.

"Now I'm back here in my homeland I guess. I'm going to explore and see what the country is all about," he said.

One of his stops was the site where the hospital where he was born once stood. The Enrique Deformes Hospital in the coastal city of Valparaíso has since been demolished and Chile's main congressional building now sits in its place.

As to why he would travel such great distance from his home in Yelm, Washington, and spend so much money -- some of it raised through a GoFundMe appeal -- to find the truth about his past, Tolliver is unequivocal. "To become whole," he says choking up and fighting back tears. "I've always felt incomplete, always kind of the outsider. My adoptive parents have blonde hair blue eyes. I just kind of stood out like a sore thumb."

Reyes, his biological mother, has been cooking for him daily and going out of her way to make him feel welcome. He doesn't speak Spanish and she doesn't speak English.

But more than anything, she's been showing him her love, giving her son the hugs and kisses that she was unable to give him all of the years gone by.

By Rafael Romo

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BBC, October 14, 2014. / source
Woman admits Quebec hospital baby theft

A woman charged with kidnapping a newborn baby from a Quebec hospital in May has pleaded guilty to all charges.

The suspect in the child abduction was determined to be Valérie Poulin-Collins

Valerie Poulin-Collins, 21, admitted abduction, kidnapping, shoplifting and drugs possession, and was sentenced to two years in prison less one day.

The woman was accused of entering a Trois-Rivieres hospital room dressed as a nurse on 26 May and leaving with a baby wrapped in a blanket.

An "amber alert" was issued and Poulin-Collins was arrested within hours.

Poulin-Collins was dressed in red hospital scrubs and allegedly took the child by saying she needed to weigh her.

She then drove away in a Toyota Yaris with a "Baby on Board" sign, police say.

Four people in Quebec were hailed as heroes for helping find the stolen baby girl in the hours after her abduction.

Melizanne Bergeron and her sister Sharelle, Marc-Andre Cote and Charlene Plante decided to start looking for the child when they first heard she had been stolen.

They were already in their vehicle when they saw the suspect's photo and description.

Ms Plante earlier told broadcaster CTV she recognised the woman as a previous neighbour.

"I know her because the police came sometimes," she said.

The four people then went to her home and called police when they saw the car described in the alert.

The baby girl was returned to her parents, Melissa McMahon and Simon Boisclair, within three hours of the alert.

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Daily Mail, December 14, 2012. / source
300,000 babies stolen from their parents – and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain

Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals.

The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal. Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

Identity crisis: Randy Ryder as a baby being cradled in a Malaga hospital in 1971 by the woman who bought him

But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.

In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.

Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.

In many cases it is believed they were unaware that the child they received had been stolen, as they were usually told the birth mother had given them up.

Journalist Katya Adler, who has investigated the scandal, says: ‘The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people.

‘There are men and women across Spain whose lives have been turned upside-down by discovering the people they thought were their parents actually bought them for cash. There are also many mothers who have maintained for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled “hysterical” – but are now discovering that their child has probably been alive and brought up by somebody else all this time.’

Reunited: Randy Ryder with Manoli Pagador, who believes she may be his real mother

Experts believe the cases may account for up to 15 per cent of the total adoptions that took place in Spain between 1960 and 1989.

It began as a system for taking children away from families deemed politically dangerous to the regime of General Franco, which began in 1939. The system continued after the dictator’s death in 1975 as the Catholic church continued to retain a powerful influence on public life, particularly in social services.

It was not until 1987 that the Spanish government, instead of hospitals, began to regulate adoptions.

The scandal came to light after two men, Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, discovered they had been stolen as babies.

Mr Moreno’s ‘father’ confessed on his deathbed to having bought him as a baby from a priest in Zaragoza in northern Spain. He told his son he had been accompanied on the trip by Mr Barroso’s parents, who bought Antonio at the same time for 200,000 pesetas – a huge sum at the time.

‘That was the price of an apartment back then,’ Mr Barroso said. ‘My parents paid it in instalments over the course of ten years because they did not have enough money.’

Bought for cash: Journalist Katya Adler with Juan Luis Moreno, who was sold as a baby

DNA tests have proved that the couple who brought up Mr Barroso were not his biological parents and the nun who sold him has admitted to doing so.

When the pair made their case public, it prompted mothers all over the country to come forward with their own experiences of being told their babies had died, but never believing it. One such woman was Manoli Pagador, who has begun searching for her son.

A BBC documentary, This World: Spain’s Stolen Babies, follows her efforts to discover if he is Randy Ryder, a stolen baby who was brought up in Texas and is now aged 40.

In some cases, babies’ graves have been exhumed, revealing bones that belong to adults or animals. Some of the graves contained nothing at all.

The BBC documentary features an interview with an 89-year-old woman named Ines Perez, who admitted that a priest encouraged her to fake a pregnancy so she could be given a baby girl due to be born at Madrid’s San Ramon clinic in 1969. ‘The priest gave me padding to wear on my stomach,’ she says.

It is claimed that the San Ramon clinic was one of the major centres for the practice.

Many mothers who gave birth there claim that when they asked to see their child after being told it had died, they were shown a baby’s corpse that appeared to be freezing cold.

The BBC programme shows photographs taken in the Eighties of a dead baby kept in a freezer, allegedly to show grieving mothers.

Despite hundreds of families of babies who disappeared in Spanish hospitals calling on the government to open an investigation into the scandal, no nationally co-ordinated probe has taken place.

As a result of amnesty laws passed after Franco’s death, crimes that took place during his regime are usually not examined. Instead, regional prosecutors across the country are investigating each story on a case-by-case basis, with 900 currently under review.

But Ms Adler says: ‘There is very little political will to get to the bottom of the situation.’

There are believed to be thousands more cases that will never come to light because the stolen children fear their adoptive parents will be seen as criminals.

Many of the families of stolen babies have taken DNA tests in the hope of eventually being matched with their children. Some matches have already been made but, without a nationally co-ordinated database, reuniting lost relatives will be a very difficult process.

By Polly Dunbar

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EURO NEWS, 3.12.2012. / source
Chad-France orphan fraud case opens

Aid workers from the French charity Zoe’s Ark have gone on trial in Paris, accused of fraud.

They were arrested in Chad, central Africa, in October 2007, in the process of putting 103 children on a plane, claiming they were orphans for whom adoption had been arranged in France.

The case shocked the public in both countries, and strained diplomatic relations.

An investigation revealed that most of the children were not orphans, and were not from neighbouring Sudan’s troubled Darfur region but came from Chad.

Zoe’s Ark founder Eric Breteau and his girlfriend Emile Lelouch, the two leading suspects, are being tried in absentia. They are in South Africa.

Their defence team is expected to make use of a French television report which shows them meeting with Sudanese mothers.

Emile Lelouch can clearly be heard telling them that they would not be able to send their children to France for a better life.

A birth certificate for one child came up in the trial in Chad; it says the parents were killed by the Janjaweed militia in Darfur.

Among the four worker present to face the charges brought by the French authorities is logistics organiser Alain Péligat. He says they acted in good faith.

In a recent interview Péligat said: “We learned a lot of things when they let us out of prison there. Everyone had a job to do and worked hard for 12-14 hours a day. It was very compartmentalised, each person taking care of a task.”

The workers were convicted for kidnapping in Chad, and sentenced to forced labour but were pardoned by Chad’s president.

Among the plaintiffs in this case are some of the families who were ready to adopt refugees.

The NGO’s website says no one knows what happened to the children.

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KIEV UKRAINE NEWS BLOG, 2.9.2055. / source
European Official Claims Newborn Babies Stolen in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine - A probe launched by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe found that newborn babies had been stolen from Ukrainian maternity homes, PACE rapporteur Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold said Friday, RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

I am convinced that newborns were stolen, she told the Kommersant-Ukraine daily. The official said she did not initially know how true the baby theft claims were, but later saw evidence suggesting babies really were taken away at birth.

Mangold intends to involve the Ukrainian general prosecutor personally in the investigation.

During her stay in Ukraine from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, Mangold studied five cases of baby thefts at maternity home No. 6 in Kharkov. But she said similar instances had happened in other Ukrainian cities.

Earlier this week, PACE said it was probing allegations of newborns being stolen for organ removal in Ukraine. Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe arrived in the former Soviet republic to oversee the probe.

The visit came as prosecutors in Ukraine were examining the accusations that three babies were stolen from mothers at Maternity Hospital No. 6 in Kharkov. Activist Tayana Zakharova said she feared the infants had been stolen for organ removal. People are afraid to even give birth now, Kharkov activist Tatyana Zakharova told BBC News.

The hospital denied the allegations.

The alleged baby thefts attracted attention in Europe after authorities alerted PACE to newspaper advertisements in Moldova encouraging single mothers to sell a child for $3,687, UPI news agency reported.

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NOVINITE, February 4, 2004. / source
EC Issues Ultimatum to Romania: Stop Child Exports


The European Commission has warned Romania to halt the export of children for adoption or face a bar on EU membership and the severance of aid funds.

The commission wrote to Adrian Nastase, the prime minister, warning that his government's conduct failed to meet the "political criteria" on human rights required for EU accession. Romania is hoping to join in 2007.

The unprecedented letter, signed by Gunther Verheugen, the enlargement commissioner, not only threatened to cut off aid but also referred to the need for a "recovery of funds" already spent unless Bucharest can account for its actions.
Officials say GBP 42 M of aid is at risk.

The dispute comes after Italian reports that Romania had sent 105 children to Italy on dubious pretexts, confirming suspicions in Brussels that the Nastase government is turning a blind eye to racketeering by adoption agencies and corrupt officials.

Romania imposed a moratorium on adoptions in 2001 at the request of Lady Nicholson, a Liberal-Democrat MEP and the European Parliament's "rapporteur" on Romania. She said organised crime was exploiting reports about the country's orphanages as a "cover" for a much wider child-abuse industry.

More than 30,000 children were shipped out for adoption over 10 years, generating hundreds of millions of pounds for agencies and middlemen. Each child fetched GBP 20,000 to GBP 35,000.

Few were actually orphans and some were stolen babies. Last month it was disclosed that a maternity hospital at Ploiesti had been tricking mothers by pretending their premature babies died at birth.

The infants were in fact "fattened" in a pre-natal wing for six months before being exported. It is claimed that 23 babies were smuggled out by the hospital last year alone.

In other cases, vulnerable young girls were pressured into giving up their babies for as little as GBP 300 cash.

Lady Nicholson said little had changed since the moratorium was imposed. "It is a well-oiled machine that seems to rest on a partnership between the adoption agencies and corrupt officials, from top to bottom of the administration. There are wonderful people making huge efforts to stop it but they are not winning.

"The courts appear to be corrupt. One judge rubber-stamped 92 cases in a single morning. There are no files. Children are just a number in a computer. The agencies get a court order and grab the child. It's kidnapping.

"Some are girls and boys approaching puberty. They are sent off against their will to an unknown future. I shudder to think of their fate. You see advertisements on the internet for pre-pubescent virgins with a USD 30,000 price tag."

Outraged Euro-MPs are demanding that Romania's request to join the EU be put on ice. A draft resolution by the European Parliament calls for "root-and-branch reform of the justice system" before renewing accession talks.

According to official figures, 1,000 Romanian children have been adopted abroad over the last two years but the real number could be much higher.

Mr Nastase said they were "pipeline cases" dating from commitments back to 2001, claiming that foreign parents were already living with the children in Romania.

But Mr Verheugen disputed the claim, noting that most were taken from foster homes or "other suitable care situations" in Romania.

A EU official said: "They were happily settled. Romania is a poor country and so these families don't have swimming pools in the yard but foster care is no worse than in any other country."

While most adoptive parents in the EU and America offer loving homes, the Commission said lack of tracking data made it impossible to know where children ended up.

"There is a very big risk that a number fall into the hands of paedophile networks. I didn't believe it for a long time but all the evidence points that way," said an official.

Romanian officials say they are caught in a tug-of-war between two camps. While one part of the EU demands an adoption ban, Italy, Spain, and France want laxer rules to meet their collapsing fertility rates.

The Daily Telegraph
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels

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REUTERS, January 23, 2003.
A California couple accused of recruiting Hungarian women to provide babies for a child-selling ring


SANTA ANA, California, USA, (Reuters) - A California couple accused of recruiting Hungarian women to provide babies for a child-selling ring pleaded guieral wire fraud and tax evasion charges.Under the terms of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors in Orange County, California, Marianne Gati, 54, could be sentenced to up to 21 months in prison and Thomas Gati, 52, faces a year of probation and a fine.Marianne Gati admitted to running a baby mill, in which Hungarian women were recruited and paid to give up their children for adoption by U.S. couples, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan McCurrie.

She worked with lawyers in Southern California and Canada to smuggle the women into America and to conceal the nature of the adoptions from the adoptive parents, McCurrie said.

He added that Gati described herself as an "adoption consultant" working in suburban Orange County south of Los Angeles.The scheme resulted in 20 adoptions which netted the Gatis $360,000, prosecutors said. The couple were scheduled to be sentenced April 14. McCurrie said the Hungarian government had indicated to U.S. officials that it "was not interested in taking the children away from their adoptive parents." A spokesman for the Hungarian Consulate in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment.

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SOUTEAST EUROPEAN TIMES, September 30, 2002. / source
Trafficking in Children Still a Problem in Albania

Prime Minister Fatos Nano says he wants to shut down trafficking routes and bring perpetrators to justice


Prime Minister Fatos Nano says he wants to shut down trafficking routes and bring perpetrators to justice

The Albanian Ministry of Public Order published statistics provided by Interpol in July that found that 6,075 children -- victims of the slave trade -- had been smuggled abroad. Nearly 4,000 of them are now in Italy and 2,800 are being exploited for drug trafficking, pedophilia, begging and other forms of labour. "About 20 per cent of these kids are living in rehabilitation centres," said Ylli Dylgjeri, General Secretary of the Public Order Ministry.

Save the Children, meanwhile, reported that more than 9,000 children have been trafficked from Albania to Western Europe. That figure represents 65 per cent of the entire number of trafficked children from Eastern Europe who are sent to the West, the NGO said. According to the French NGO Terre des Hommes, 6,000 children between the ages of 12 and 14 are smuggled from Eastern to Western Europe every year.

Under Albania's penal code, those found guilty of human trafficking face up to 20 years in prison. Yet in the past ten years, no one has been convicted or imprisoned on charges of exploiting minors or trafficking children.

However, Albania’s new government has demonstrated an increasing commitment to combating crime and corruption in the country, including human trafficking. Prime Minister Fatos Nano told parliament last week that the government was intent on shutting down trafficking routes and bringing individual perpetrators to justice.

Albanian authorities contend that the illegal sea route to Italy has been brought under control, after a successful operation last month. The United States recently moved Albania to the second tier list of countries involved in human trafficking, recognising its commitment to fighting such activities.

In late August, Xhulieta Petalla and her husband Ramiz were detained after entering Italy with three Albanian children. According to Italian police, the Petallas smuggled 56 children into Italy during the past year. A few months earlier, Xhulieta Petalla was arrested in Fier, Albania, on charges of smuggling children, but a court in Durres released her.

On 21 September, a court in Elbasan ordered the detention of Almir and Alketa Shaqiri after a 10-year-old Roma girl said she had been forced by them to beg in Athens for four years. The couple, however, is still missing.

Trafficking has been a public concern since 1994, when a Roma woman from Elbasan sued the Korca Orphans’ House after she found that her baby girl was missing. She was told that her child died due to an illness, but the grave turned out to be empty. The investigation was never made public and the case was considered closed by the Prosecution Office.

Another scandal involved a British man who established a charity house in Korca. According to local media, he nourished extremely poor children, gaining the trust of their families. Afterwards he would ask the mothers for custody of these children. They were asked to fill out a form that gave the man the right to adopt their children.

According to the Prosecutor General, in 1998 there were six such charity houses in Albania, most of them located in Korca and Elbasan. Some of these activities were masked as religious organisations.

"Panorama" has reported that child trafficking yields between $7 billion and $10 billion worldwide each year. Addressing a special session dedicated to children, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said this trade has affected more than 30 million children worldwide.

By Alban Bala and V.O. Alma Cupi for Balkan Times in Tirana

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CYPRUS MAIL, The International Daily, December 14, 2001. / source
Nicosia doctor arrested after newborn sold

A NICOSIA gynaecologist suspected of being involved in the sale of a three-day-old baby to a Greek couple was yesterday arrested.

The 37-old-man, who practices at a well-known Nicosia clinic, allegedly conspired with two other individuals in arranging the sale, police said.

According to police, the doctor arranged the arrival on the island of a Romanian woman who four days ago gave birth to a healthy boy by caesarean section.

Police said the suspect immediately handed the child over to a Greek couple who were allegedly present at the clinic, bypassing all legal adoption procedures.

Reports said the baby's mother, who is married to a Romanian man, allegedly came to Cyprus to work as an artiste in a cabaret.

Police are looking into the possibility of an artiste agent also being involved in the case, since it has been reported the woman was seven months pregnant when she arrived on the island.

Police HQ CID Director Tasos Panayiotou remained tight-lipped yesterday but did not rule out further arrests.

The gynaecologist was arrested at 2pm.

Police last night issued a statement stressing that the owners of the clinic were not in any way involved in the case under investigation and were only renting space to the suspect.

Justice Minister Nicos Koshis said police, who had information about the alleged deal, had been watching the situation closely, and acted with utmost secrecy.

He said the Greek couple who were present at the clinic were going to try and pass the baby off as their own.

The baby boy is now under the care of the welfare office.

The suspect will be presented before the Nicosia district court today.

Police were now looking into the possibility of any similar cases taking place in the past and if an organised ring was behind the act.

By George Psyllides

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THE RUSSIA JURNAL, May 31, 1999. / source
Moscow Gang Arrested As Suspects in Child Trading Ring

REUTERS - A gang that organized the sale of 19 newborn babies in the United States has been arrested in Moscow. The group, led by an American woman and Russian man, had sold fourteen girls and five boys for up to $30,000 each, giving $10,000 to the mothers.

Under the scheme, pregnant Russians went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, between 1995 and 1998 to give birth, and then let U.S. families keep the children in arranged adoptions.

The gang was reported to the police by the mother of the twentieth baby to go on sale. After she failed to get a U.S. visa on time, she gave birth in Moscow and was not paid the money promised by the gang leaders.

Five members of the group have been arrested.

The suspects worked for Special Delivery Adoption Services, an organization operated out of New York City and Baton Rouge by two U.S. citizens, identified by the police as Nina B. and Vasily N.

Russia has become a major source of children for adoption to western families. An estimated one million children live on the streets.

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BBC NEWS, November 25, 1998. / source
World: Americas
Argentina baby theft arrest


Protesters call for life imprisonment for the dictators A former Argentinian military ruler has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of newborn babies from jailed political dissidents during the dictatorship years.
A judge ordered the detention of Emilio Massera after a hearing in Buenos Aires regarding the abduction of two children during the country's ''dirty war''.

Mr Massera denies stealing babies It is estimated between 200 and 400 babies were taken from their mothers and given to military and police couples under the regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

The accusations are similar to those against Jorge Videla, the former army lieutenant general who headed the junta with Mr Massera.

Mr Videla is currently under house arrest in connection with the alleged theft of four babies.

As chief of the military, Mr Videla had final authority over death squads that waged a "dirty war" of torture and murder against political opponents.

Mr Massera, as the head of the navy, was responsible for the junta's most notorious torture centre, the Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA).

Both men were sentenced to life in 1985 for human rights abuses, but were pardoned in 1990 by President Carlos Menem.

However, the amnesty does not cover the kidnapping of children. Cecilia Vinas' son was eventually raised by Jorge Vildoza, one of Mr Massera's chief assistants, until the son took a DNA test when he was 20 that helped reveal his real parents.

His biological father, Reynaldo Penin, was also among the disappeared.

The government says around 9,000 Argentines disappeared during the military regime's war on leftists and dissidents. Human rights groups say the figure is closer to 30,000.

Witnesses testified how pregnant prisoners at the ESMA were induced into giving birth.

Their babies were taken away and brought up by childless military couples. The mothers were usually killed, it is alleged.

They were reportedly dumped into the sea on regular "death flights," or shot and incinerated in an oven or buried under a sports field.

Mr Massera, 73, is to appear in court next week in a separate case involving other children born to parents in captivity.

He has denied the allegations and his lawyer Miguel Arce Aggeo plans to appeal.

Opposing groups of Massera supporters and protesters gathered outside the hearing.

Leftists held up photographs of the disappeared and called for Mr Massera to spend the rest of his life in prison.

'Babies' mothers were slain'

The case against Mr Massera involves the children of Patricia Roisinblit and Cecilia Vinas, two women who disappeared in 1976 from the Buenos Aires naval facility.

Jorge Videla is under house arrest Cecilia Vinas' son was eventually raised by Jorge Vildoza, one of Mr Massera's chief assistants, until the son took a DNA test when he was 20 that helped reveal his real parents.

His biological father, Reynaldo Penin, was also among the disappeared.

The government says around 9,000 Argentines disappeared during the military regime's war on leftists and dissidents. Human rights groups say the figure is closer to 30,000.

Witnesses testified how pregnant prisoners at the ESMA were induced into giving birth.

Their babies were taken away and brought up by childless military couples. The mothers were usually killed, it is alleged.

Link to General Pinochet case

The ruling by the Argentinian judge comes a day before the British House of Lords is to rule on the fate of Chile's former dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Mr Massera is being sought by the same Spanish judge who requested General Pinochet's arrest for the murder of Spaniards by South American dictatorships.

They were reportedly dumped into the sea on regular "death flights," or shot and incinerated in an oven or buried under a sports field.

Mr Massera, 73, is to appear in court next week in a separate case involving other children born to parents in captivity.

He has denied the allegations and his lawyer Miguel Arce Aggeo plans to appeal.

Opposing groups of Massera supporters and protesters gathered outside the hearing.

Leftists held up photographs of the disappeared and called for Mr Massera to spend the rest of his life in prison.

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