|Melilla - Morocco frontier|
MELILLA The Guardia Civil recently announced that it had managed to clear up a network of people that over the years have sold at least 28 Moroccan babies to couples on the peninsula. The group, headed by three sisters from Tetouan, included some 31 people, of whom twelve have since died. Fourteen of the victims have been identified, some of whom were not aware they had been adopted. Two of the sisters moved to Melilla (the Spanish enclave on the North African coast), where they searched out couples there and on the Spanish mainland who for one reason or another were unable to have children of their own. The third sister>>>went on the lookout for pregnant women in Morocco willing to sell their babies.
Some of these crossed into Melilla and had their babies in hospitals there, or in private homes. Operation Oculta (Hidden) covered the period between 1977 and 1985, and parallel other baby selling - and stealing - cases all over the mainland. One the sister has been located, one of them died and the third is being sought, believed to be in Morocco. Among the accused are medical staff, including doctors, nurses and midwives. Victims have so far been identified in Valencia, Málaga, Granada, Palma de Mallorca and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. More arrests can be expected, according to the Guardia Civil.