Greece: 5 deny poor women’s babies sold in illegal adoptions
THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Five Greek and Georgian citizens have appeared in court on charges of belonging to a criminal organization that allegedly sold babies for adoption.
All five denied the charges before a Thessaloniki magistrate on Friday. The two Georgian nationals are accused of being the ringleaders.
The gang allegedly recruited pregnant Bulgarian women who were destitute and willing to give up newborns they might deliver. Authorities say the group sold babies to childless Greek couples.
A total 12 people were arrested this week in connection with the alleged illegal adoptions and the alleged sale of human eggs. Another 54 have been charged with complicity.
Police say it was one of the biggest and best-organized gangs of its kind in Europe. The continent’s Europol police agency assisted the investigation.