Thai doctor faces charges for involvement in cross-border surrogacy racket

photo from Phuphat Vonwattanakit

Anti-human trafficking police have summoned a Thai doctor to acknowledge charges of involvement in a Chinese-funded cross-border surrogacy service, using Thai women to bear babies for Chinese couples.

The police said that the doctor, whose name is being withheld, used to work at a state hospital in the Victory Monument area of Bangkok and is allegedly responsible for providing assisted-reproductive services to surrogate Thai mothers, usually at clinics in the Lao Republic. The surrogate mothers then return to Thailand until enter their third trimester, when they are sent to China for delivery.

Four other doctors at state hospitals will also be invited to provide information to anti-human trafficking police about the racket.

A woman, suspected of being a broker who allegedly handles financial transactions for the racket, was arrested in Bangkok on Monday.  She was later released on 200,000 baht bail.

In February this year, police raided a house in the Lat Phrao area and found seven Thai women, all of them pregnant, and a 20-day old baby under the care of a woman, who claimed to have been paid 14,000 baht to look after the babies in the house.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the closure of all borders, the surrogate mothers are now having to give birth in Thailand, instead of in China.

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