KOLKATA: Twelve people have been arrested in eastern India for trafficking newborn babies, who were smuggled out of clinics in biscuit boxes, police said on Thursday.
Police busted the illegal adoption racket after they found three newborns inside a cardboard box being taken from a clinic north of Kolkata on Monday night.
The clinic owner and seven others were arrested on Monday, and four others were detained on Wednesday after raids on other clinics.
One of the stolen babies, a girl, has been reunited with her parents, while the mothers of the other two were still being identified, senior police officer Bharatlal Meena said. All the babies were between three and five days old, he said.
“We fear that at least 45 newborns were trafficked by the gang over the past two years,” Meena said, adding the clinics were paid 200,000 rupees ($2,900) for a boy and half that for a girl.
“Some of the women admitted to the nursing home (clinic) were told that they have given birth to stillborn babies,” he said.