UK & World News

  • 7 August 2014, 15:20

Thailand Surrogacy Raid Uncovers Nine Babies

Police have found nine babies in a Bangkok apartment, fuelling concerns about Thailand's surrogacy industry.

A Japanese millionaire is reportedly the father of the youngsters, who are believed to have been born to Thai surrogate mothers.

Officers who raided the luxury home also found nine nannies and a pregnant woman who claimed to be a surrogate mother, according to reports in Thailand.

It follows a scandal that erupted after an anonymous Australian couple were accused of abandoning a baby boy with Down's syndrome, while taking home his twin sister.

Seven-month-old Gammy, who also suffers from a life-threatening heart condition, was left with his impoverished Thai surrogate mother Pattharamon Janbua, 21.

There were no documents found with the nine children, who are thought to be between two weeks and two years old.

Thai authorities said they will carry out DNA tests to determine who their biological fathers and mothers are.

The nannies told police they were paid the equivalent of 180 a month to look after the children.

Surrogacy is illegal in Thailand - unless it is with a relative - and offering money to carry a baby is also prohibited.

But following worldwide publicity of Gammy's case, Thai authorities have vowed to increase punishments and close loopholes which they say are being exploited by foreigners seeking Thai surrogates.

Meanwhile, Australian child protection officials have finally contacted the couple accused of abandoning Gammy after visits to their home in Bunbury, south of Perth, went unanswered.

They would not comment on the nature of the discussions with the pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, or the welfare of Gammy's twin sister.

It came after it was reported the 56-year-old father is a convicted paedophile.

He was jailed in the 1990s of 22 child sex abuse charges involving girls as young as seven, ABC said.

Ms Pattharamon said she wanted to take back Gammy's twin sister if the allegations are true.

More than 6,000 people around the world have so far given more than 140,000 to a website set up to help Ms Pattharamon who says she is unable to afford Gammy's medical bills.

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