Kolkata: Eight people, including a doctor, two quacks and the owner of a nursing home, have been arrested from West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district for allegedly running a child smuggling racket, a senior CID officer said on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, the Criminal Investigation Department personnel raided Sohan Nursing Home and Polyclinic in Baduria in North 24 Parganas district on Monday night and recovered three infants who were about to be smuggled, the officer said.
“We have arrested eight people, including Ashadul Jaman, the owner of the nursing home,” CID (DIG) Bharatlal Meena told media persons.
The accused were presented in the Basirhat court on Tuesday. Four of them were remanded to police custody for 14 days.
“Three doctors, including a retired doctor of R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata and a doctor from Bongaon, are involved in the smuggling racket. We will arrest them soon,” he said.
According to CID, a non-government organisation named Subodh Memorial Trust Institute and a local clinic were also part of the racket.
“They used to tell the parents that the newborn has died and then smuggle the infant hidden in biscuit packages via the NGO. A newborn male-child was sold for around Rs two lakh while a girl-child was handed over for Rs one lakh,” Meena confirmed.
“The racket was active for almost three years and we fear they have trafficked around 25-30 infants during that period. Some of the infants were trafficked to other states as well,” he said.
Satyajit Sinha, the owner of the NGO, and two women from the clinic, Nazma Bibi and Utpala Bapayari are the prime suspects.
The arrested people have been slapped with various charges like kidnapping (IPC 369), exploitation (IPC 370) and criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B).