India: Baby trafficking racket busted as police warn more children at risk

Police stand with the members of an alleged child trafficking gang in Mumbai.

Story highlights

  • Child trafficking gang arrested in Mumbai
  • Police say they sold at least five babies in the past year

New Delhi (CNN)Police in Mumbai have arrested six people in connection with a baby smuggling ring.

The gang, five women and a man, would abduct babies in Mumbai and sell them to childless couples in other parts of India, according to senior police inspector Naresh Kasale.
The activities of the gang came to police attention when they received a complaint about a missing boy who had been kidnapped from his home in Mumbai.
The child was tracked down earlier this month and found with a gang member in Goa.
She confessed that the gang would kidnap babies and present them as their own to sell to customers for around 200,000 to 300,000 rupees ($3,000 to $3,600). In the past year they sold five babies in this fashion, Kasale said.
He said police are still investigating the gang, as they believe more people may be involved.
Kidnapping and child trafficking are persistent problems in India.

Child trafficking

Last month, police in West Bengal rescued 10 babies, all girls ranging from one to 10 months old, during a raid in Kolkata on a suspected international child trafficking ring, according to CNN News 18.
The bodies of two infants were also discovered at the old age home the traffickers were using as a base.
"An initial probe revealed that at least 50 infants have been sold from the home and the number could be more," police told CNN News 18 at the time.
More than 73,000 children were reported missing in 2014, according to the most recent official statistics. Last year, the National Crime Records Bureau registered 41,893 cases of kidnapping and child abduction, and 3,490 cases of child trafficking.
Child trafficking includes crimes such as buying and selling of minors for prostitution and importation of girls from abroad.
According to an Indian government report "a large number of children are trafficked not only for the sex 'trade' but also for other forms of non-sex based exploitation that includes servitude of various kinds, as domestic labor, industrial labor, agricultural labor, begging, organ trade and false marriage."