the phones could help them establish the true number
Police have arrested eight people, including six women, for running a baby-selling racket.
The suspects reportedly sold newborn babies. Police shockingly uncovered that while baby girls were sold for Rs. 60,000 (£600), baby boys were sold for Rs. 1.5 Lakh (£1,500).
Preliminary investigations have indicated that the gang has sold four babies within six months, however, they suspect the number could be much higher.
On January 16, 2021, police arrested eight suspects. They were identified as Arti Singh, Rukshar Shaikh, Rupali Verma, Nisha Ahire, Geetanjali Gaikwad and Sanjay Padam, Heena Khan and Shahjahan Jogilkar.
It was revealed that Arti, who worked as a lab technician, played a middleman in the baby-selling operation.
In addition, eight phones were seized which contained pictures of newborn babies as well as WhatsApp conversations.
Police believe the phones could help them establish the true number of babies sold and trace their families in Pune and Mumbai.
The suspects were booked under the human trafficking sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Juvenile Justice Act.
The racket came to light after sub-inspectors Yogesh Chavan and Manisha Pawar received a tip-off that a woman living in Bandra was involved in the selling of newborn babies.
Chavan and Pawar began an investigation and identified Rukshar Shaikh who had sold a baby girl she delivered at VN Desai Hospital.
One officer said: “On further inquiries, we learnt that another woman, Shahjahan Jogilkar, had sold her baby boy to a Pune-based family through Rupali Verma.
“This was Shahjahan’s second child sold through Rupali Verma.”
Both women had been staying with their mothers in Bandra.
On January 14, 2021, a police team took Rukshar, Shahjahan and Rupali in for questioning.
During questioning, they confessed to their involvement in the baby-selling racket. Rukshar explained that in 2019, she sold a baby girl for Rs. 60,000 and a baby boy for Rs. 1.5 Lakh through Rupali.
Shahjahan also admitted selling her son to a family in Dharavi for Rs. 1.5 Lakh.
Rupali also revealed that two women, Heena Khan and Nisha Ahire, acted as sub-agents in the racket.
Based on the information, police arrested Heena and Nisha. They told officers that Shahjahan’s son was sold to Sanjay Padam.
One officer said: “We have information that all the accused have sold many babies in the past.
“Their modus operandi is to move around poor localities, identify pregnant ladies, convince them with money and then sell the babies.”
Police arrested Sanjay for buying the baby without legally adopting the child.
Police are working to find out the families in Dadar and Pune who purchased the two babies from Rukshar.