Police Bust Child-Trafficking Ring In North Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Three Argentines have been charged with running a child-trafficking network which police say sold newborns to wealthy couples in Germany.
Police said Wednesday that the two women and one man were charged with illegally changing the babies’ identities. They were released on bail pending an investigation.
Citing unidentified senior police officials, the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarin said the group bought a 4-week-old girl on April 19 for $1,000 from an unmarried mother in the town of Goya in Corrientes province, 670 miles north of Buenos Aires.
The baby, called Maria, was sold May 14 for $50,000 to a couple in Munich identified by Clarin as Erik and Rita Vollmer.
The alleged ringleader, Oscar Villon, was accused of approaching childless couples in Munich and putting them in touch with two women who offered cash to poor families in Goya.
Corrientes Justice Minister Guillermo Colombo said the ring had links with immigration officials at Buenos Aires’ international airport, the German Embassy and the Argentine Foreign Ministry.
A spokesman for the German Embassy said he had no knowledge of the network.
In 1993, a provincial prosecutor claimed he knew of 102 other cases of irregular adoptions in Corrientes.