Exploited Women & Sold Babies for Adoption – Moldovan citizens involved

Around 30 European women, including individuals from Moldova and Romania, were exploited by a group based in Crete and led by a gynecologist. Confined in 14 houses, they were forcibly impregnated and subsequently gave birth to babies sold for adoption.

The clients consisted of single men, infertile or homosexual couples. A surrogate-born baby could fetch up to 120,000 euros. Nine individuals, including a Romanian, were arrested for crimes such as human trafficking and illegal adoptions. Meanwhile, two other women from Moldova are being sought internationally as investigative efforts continue to determine the full extent of the criminal activities.

According to the European Center for Legal Education and Research, which collaborated with INTERPOL in dismantling the network, the group members face accusations of at least ten offenses. These include formation and membership in an organized criminal group, human trafficking, facilitating illegal adoptions of minors, violating laws related to assisted medical reproduction, committing crimes against the family, misleading patients with false medical procedures, engaging in fraud, forging public documents, causing physical harm, and violating medication legislation.

Interpol’s investigation revealed the trafficking scheme orchestrated by the Greek doctor’s group, where these women’s eggs were harvested for surrogacy. The victims hailed from various countries, including Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, and Georgia, with some even being in the final stages of pregnancy.

The brokers responsible for recruiting women received 3,000 to 5,000 euros per surrogate, along with monthly bonuses. The group earned 70,000 to 120,000 euros per pregnant woman.

Handovers as international adoptions

The mothers were held in at least 14 concealed houses on the Greek island of Crete. For parents who wished to pay for a child but came from countries where obtaining a child born through a surrogate mother was prohibited, the baby handovers were masked as international adoptions.

It’s important to note that Greece allows, by law, the procedure of obtaining a child through surrogate mothers. However, this process is highly stringent and takes a minimum of two years. Following evaluations by multiple medical committees, the case eventually comes before a judge.

The Greek gynecologist managed to attract clients, including same-sex couples, due to this reputation. One partner would enter into a civil marriage with the surrogate mother, and after the child’s birth, the couple would divorce. The biological mother would renounce her rights, and the child would be taken to the client’s home country. The criminal group comprised doctors, clinic staff, a woman from Romania, and two women from Georgia. In total, nine individuals have already been apprehended, with two other Moldovan women being sought internationally.

What does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Chișinău informs that the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Greece has taken notice of the appearance of information in the Greek press regarding the dismantling of a network involved in human trafficking and organ trade. According to the authorities, as of now, no official information has been received by the embassy regarding Moldovan citizens who may be affected or from potential victims.

“Our diplomatic mission has submitted the necessary formal steps to the Greek authorities and is awaiting official information,” reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MAEIE).


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