"The rate depends on gender, colour and weight."
A retired 48-year-old nurse, Amudha, from the Tamil Nadu region of India, has been arrested for selling babies. It’s believed that she is part of a wider racket selling newborn children in the Namakkal district of the state.
On Friday, April 26, 2019, police arrested Amudha aka Amudhavalli, who had retired from state service on a voluntary basis, her husband, Ravichandran, aged 54 and Murugesan, an ambulance driver from Kollimalai.
In addition, police, led by SP R.Arularasu, have also arrested three other women, Parveen, Arulsamy and Hasina, who were acting as ‘sub-brokers’ and two of which were ‘egg donors’.
According to reports the baby-selling scheme came to light after an audio conversation obtained by The News Minute, features Amudha aka Amudhavalli in a conversation describing the kind of children available based on their skin colour, weight and associated prices.
In the phone conversation, when asked about babies available, Amudha says:
“The rate depends on gender, colour and weight.
“If it is a female, the rate begins at Rs. 2.70 lakh (£2200).
“If the girl is fair and is of good weight the price could go up to Rs.3 lakh.”
“For a dark baby boy the rate is between Rs.3.30 lakh and Rs.3.70 lakh and if you want a beautiful Amul baby it is over Rs.4 lakh.”
She then says that an advance of Rs 30,000 (£332) can be given by a customer and then upon receipt of the baby the rest of the transaction can be paid.
In addition, a birth certificate with the names of the parents on it could be obtained for an extra Rs 70,000 (£775).
As it is an illegal activity, she said it would take time but assured that the customer would get the Municipality certificate within a month and it would be as good as an original one, using online facilities.
When the ambulance driver, Murugesan, was interrogated, police found that he had helped source eight babies for Amudha to sell onto childless couples.
It was revealed by police that he got friendly with women when taking them for deliveries to the government hospital. The pair then “exploited the poverty” of the mothers getting them to agree to sell their babies to them for a sum.
Police believe they have been selling babies for over three years but are investigating further.
Amudha admitted being involved in the sale of three baby girls, of which one she says was done legally. Ara Arulasu, the Superintendent of the Namakkal police said:
“We have secured her and are investigating what has happened.
“She claims to have been in this business for 10 years.
“She retired from the government hospital in 2012. So far, she has admitted that she has been part of three sales. All of them are baby girls.
“One however she claims was done legally. Our team is procuring the documents to see if they were falsified.”
The officer added:
“She has admitted that this is a lie to extort more money from desperate couples.
“She has also lied about the number of years that she has been doing this business in order to project herself as confident and experienced.”
Due to stricter adoption laws in India, the selling of babies seems to be on the rise. For example, a single man is not allowed to adopt a child.
This is leading to desperate childless couples turning to the illegal baby-selling rackets like this one to procure children without realising the repercussions.
It was revealed that Amudha warned customers to be very discreet as she needed to avoid any suspicion by neighbours if suddenly a baby appeared in her house.
Of the three other women arrested, two of the women often visited private fertility clinics to find potential customers eager to have children via IVF. They talked couples into ways to “get a newborn baby” through them.
Parveen, Arulsamy and Hasina were involved in at least 12 transactions selling babies.
The police investigation continues to see if there are more people involved in this illegal racket.