Five-member gang held for kidnapping children
Wednesday May 4 2005 10:18 IST
CHENNAI: A five-member gang, suspected to be involved in the kidnapping of
over 350 children over the last 15 years, was arrested by the city police on
Tuesday. The gang targeted street children, children from poor families and
those in the maternity wards of government hospitals and sold them to an
adoption centre at Madhuravedu, near Thiruverkadu, the police said.
The city police had been getting a number of complaints regarding missing
children over the past few years. They got a breakthrough after they nabbed
the main culprits, Varadharajan, 51, of Otteri, and Sheik Dawood, 42, of
Korukkupet. The duo used to kidnap children mainly from slum areas.
A child missing complaint was registered with the Otteri police station on
December 17, 1998, by Noorullah of Otteri. The complainant, on Tuesday
passed on a vital information about the abduction of his
one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Fathimma, to the police. He said the baby
was abducted by Varadharajan and Sheik Dawood.
The police swung into action and picked up Varadharajan, Sheik Dawood and
their aides Sabeetha, 55, of Pulianthopu, Navjeen, 32, of Korukkupet and
Manoharan, 49, of T P Chathiram. On further investigation, the police found
that the same gang had also kidnapped the three-and-a-half-year-old daughter
of Sabeen of Old Vannarapet and the two-and half-year-old daughter of
Kathirvelu of Pulianthoppu.
According to the police, these children were sold to an adoption centre for
prices ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 and they were later adopted by
both Indians and foreigners. Explaining the modus operandi, the police said
the gang members identified the kids first and then they slept on the
platforms close to their houses posing as beggars. They carried off the
children when everybody was asleep.
The adoption centre workers also had a role in this, the police said and
added that the gang had been operating for nearly 15 years. They even used
to steal children from maternity wards of Government General Hospitals, the
police sources said.
Investigation is on to find out the whereabouts of these kidnapped children.
Around 350 children could have been sold to the centre by this gang, they
said and added that it would be difficult to trace these children as they
would be anywhere between 10 and 15 years of age by now. The adoption centre
had also taken money from the adopting parents, they added.
However, the police said no case had been registered against 'Malaysian
Social Service', the adoption centre as of now and nobody had been picked up