Four women, arrested from Dhaka’s Lalbagh area for stealing newborn babies from the Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s maternity wards, are all part-time nannies, police confirmed.
All four women belong to a newborn baby theft gang, Lalbagh police Sub-Inspector Md Farukuzzaman, told the Dhaka Tribune after the arrestees were questioned for two days in remand.
RAB arrested Farida, 42, Jahanara, 50, Ferdousi, 30, and Rozina, 50 on December 15, and rescued a baby girl who was going to be sold.
After contacting the gang under the guise infant buyer, RAB men set up a deal to buy the recently kidnapped child for Tk70,000.
During the bust Monoara, believed to be the ringleader, and her husband, Babul, managed to escape. The four arrestees were handed over to Lalbagh police station.
During interrogation, Ferdousi said Monoara was a nanny at DMCH. She had strong links with brokers, who deal in kidnapped babies, and the Ansar force.
With help from brokers, the four nannies got their part-time jobs at the hospital. They claimed Monoara and her husband were veterans in the business.
Police also arrested Jabbar, 35, Monoara’s brother, who runs a shop in the Shahidnagar Beribandh area in the capital. Sources said all were involved in the infant stealing business.
They have been sent to Dhaka Central Jail, police said.
SI Farukuzzaman said: “The baby rescued on December 15 was picked up on November 24.”
The thieves use code words, calling boy babies “jamai” [groom] and girl-babies “bou” [bride], police said.
Girls are priced above Tk50,000 while boys fetch at least Tk1 lakh. “If Monoara is caught, we may catch other gangs operating in various hospitals and clinics,” the SI said.
“The accused said they had delivered the stolen baby. But they claim to know nothing about the mother. It seems all are lying...It is clear that Monoara and her husband played key role sin the gang,” he added.
No trace of the child’s parents
Nobody has yet claimed the girl, although though a week has passed since she was rescued.
She has been kept at the neonatal ward of the DMCH and will soon be handed over to the Chotomoni Nibash, a children’s home run by the Department of Social Welfare.
Lalbagh OC Md Moniruzzaman said: “We did not receive any complaint from any parents after the child was kidnapped. It has been difficult tracing the parents.”