A nun and a staff member at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in eastern India were arrested Thursday for allegedly selling babies born to unwed mothers, police said.
The pair were arrested from the grounds of one of the offices of the charity in Jharkhand on charges of child trafficking, police in the state capital Ranchi said.
The women could face up to five years in prison for selling a baby boy from the institution founded by the Nobel laureate, which cares for unwed pregnant women and mothers in distress.
Police said the infant was sold to a family in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state for $1,700 by the two suspects.
They could face more charges as investigations widen into the illegal adoption scam, said Ranchi senior superintendent Aneesh Gupta.
“The women have admitted to four more such cases which we are in the process of verifying. The families which bought the babies are also under our radar and will face action,” he told AFP.
Authorities grew suspicious after the state’s Child Welfare Committee discovered a newborn boy was missing from the centre last week.
Nuns at the charity told police that the boy’s mother had taken the child away, said Ranchi inspector general Ashish Batra.
“However, on being contacted, the mother said that she did not have the baby with her,” Batra said.
The hospitals where the children were delivered will also be investigated, police said.
Mother Teresa was a missionary nun who became a global symbol of compassion but she was also a controversial and divisive figure.
She remained fervently opposed to birth control and abortion, describing the latter as “direct murder by the mother herself” in her Nobel acceptance speech.
Mother Teresa, who was 87 when she died in 1997, was buried in Kolkata in eastern India, where Missionaries of Charity is headquartered.
Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.
"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."
"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."
Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report
President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.
Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.
‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.
The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.
Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.
"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.