Interpol probes Thailand's 'Baby Factory'
BANGKOK — Interpol said on Friday it has started a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the “Baby Factory” case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more.
Police raided a Bangkok condominium this month and found nine babies and nine nannies living in a few unfurnished rooms filled with baby bottles, bouncy chairs, play pens and diapers. They have since identified Mitsutoki Shigeta as the father of those babies — and seven others.
“What I can tell you so far is that I've never seen a case like this,” said Thailand's Interpol director, police Maj. Gen. Apichart Suribunya. Apichart said that regional Interpol offices in Japan, Cambodia, Hong Kong and India have been asked to probe Shigeta's background.
“We are looking into two motives. One is human trafficking and the other is exploitation of children,” said Thai police Lt. Gen. Kokiat Wongvorachart, Thailand's lead investigator in the case.
Shigeta has not been charged with any crime. He is trying to get his children back — the 12 in Thailand are being cared for by social services — and he has proved through DNA samples that he is their biological father.
As for Shigeta's motives, he told New Life clinic's manager that “he wanted to win elections and could use his big family for voting,” said Mariam Kukunashvili, founder of the clinic.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.