Heraklion – Six people were arrested on Friday for alleged involvement in the sale of a 25-day-old baby for 12,000 euros, on the Greek Island of Crete. The illegal adoption involved the sale of a Bulgarian baby arranged by Bulgarian intermediaries.
The burgeoning black market sale of Bulgarian babies on the Greek Island of Crete was dealt another blow on Friday when six people were arrested. According to Athens News the Bulgarian mother of a 25 day-old-baby , along with three Bulgarian intermediaries, were caught in the act of attempting to sell the infant to a Greek couple on the island for 12,000 euros ($16,000).
Ekathimerini reported that Cretan police had been monitoring a suspected illegal adoption ring and were able to catch the Bulgarians in the act of attempting to receive payment. According to a study by Bijc it is almost impossible to make a judicial case against baby sellers unless they are caught at the very moment of exchanging payment. Bijc issued a report on the illegal business in 2004 but demand is still on-going despite millions being spent to put an end to the trade.
The Greek Island of Crete is one of the most popular tourist destination’s in the world, yet it has its seamy side too. Island police are aware that Albanians control the market for drug’s and prostitutes, Romanians control fake passports and documents, and Bulgarians have control of illegal adoptions.
Childless couples are offered Bulgarian babies for sale, but the Greek authorities try to control the entrance of very pregnant Bulgarian women as they are aware of the illegal sales. The babies need to be born in Greece to avoid being registered on entrance to the country, so mostly the women are trafficked in illegally before they give birth, generally entering Crete by boat from Italy.
On average a baby will cost around 13,000 euros, with boys trading at a premium of 2,000 euros above girls. Major Stilianos Artzidakis of the Cretan police explained “Except the cases with the babies we do not have other serious problems with the Bulgarians.”
There are some instances of Bulgarian women being held against their will and ‘persuaded’ to sell their new borns. Local lawyers are used to convince them that their children will have a better life than starving in Bulgaria.
Those found guilty of involvement in the arrangement of the deals receive prison sentences, whilst the mother and adopter’s are subject to fines.
The baby from Friay’s sale is being cared for in hospital.