Greece: Illegal Trafficking of Newborns and Oocytes

Greek police have dismantled a crime network involved in selling ovaries and newborns, mainly from Bulgarian women.

The group allegedly transported the women (Bulgarians, Georgians and some Romani) to a private clinic in Thessaloniki to deliver their babies or have oocytes harvested. Active since 2016, the ring is accused of 22 cases of illegal adoptions and 24 cases of women’s eggs being sold for up to 500,000 €.

There are over 70 suspects in this crime network, which is also accused of money laundering.

The Thessaloniki Police Chief, Christos Dimitrakopoulos, said that “the families applying for adoption paid between 25,000 and 28,000 €, which covered the costs paid to the biological mother, the lawyer, hospital expenses, and the percentage for the criminal intermediaries.  The surrogate women were paid up to 5,000 € to give birth in Greece.

The former Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, had tried to thwart this kind of crime network, by shortening adoption procedures which are criticized as being too lengthy. Previously, in 2011, the same criminal pattern was discovered when 17 pregnant Bulgarian women arrived in Greek territory to sell their babies.

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