BANGKOK – Twenty-three people including five Chinese nationals have been charged with illegal commercial surrogacy after a year-long investigation by Thai police.
Five Thai doctors, a physician and 12 agents have been arrested for allegedly conspiring in the transnational surrogacy ring. Four of the five Chinese nationals accused of running the commercial surrogacy have been held by police while the other had fled the country, according to police.
The ring operation was tipped last year before police raided at least 10 locations in Thailand, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, Sukhothai and Pathum Thani earlier this year.
The Royal Thai Police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) said it had seized 500 million baht and assets worth over 1 billion baht from the ring members.
Around 300 Thai women who were hired to be surrogate mothers had been protected as witnesses, ATPD said.
The suspects face up to 15 years imprisonment and 300,000-baht fine if found guilty under the anti-surrogacy law enacted in 2015. (TNA)