"Selling a baby for 8,000 euros and a used car" is part of what the announcement said that attracted a young infertile couple. Yesterday, the couple Mike, 25, and his wife Carmen, 27, were questioned by a judge in Marseille.
According to the French daily Le Parisien, Mike and Carmen bought baby Tony and a BMW Serie 3 all for 8000 euros.
The sale apparently took place in Marseille, towards the end of July.
At the centre of this affair are Illie, 33 (nicknamed Tarzan) who was accompanied by Valeriu, 40, who is believed to be the biological father of the baby, named Tony. Both are of Romanian-Roma origin.
The two baby traffickers were stopped in Corsica Tuesday night in a squat in Furiani, south of the city Bastia. They were accompanied by three others who housed the men for one night.
“They were likely getting ready to sell another baby in Corsica”, a judicial source revealed.
“It then seems they were going to escape by boat back to Romania via Italy”. The two men face up to ten years in prison.
The mother of baby Tony, is likely the sister of the head organiser of the operation. She allegedly gave birth to him at Marseille’s north hospital.
After the adoptive parents were taken into custody by authorities in Marseille, the baby was found in “good health”. The department of Health and Social Affairs (DDASS) is temporarily looking after baby Tony. He will eventually be placed with a foster family.
The adoptive mother, Carmen, of baby Tony explained why she was willing to purchase a child “I can’t have children and I was willing to do anything to have one. ...With us, he would have been happy, he would have gone to school and not have to beg like the other Romanians”.
Tarzan is also suspected of being involved in previous dealings, especially last spring with three Romanian women. They delivered at a hospital in the Corsican city of Ajaccio and left immediately afterwards.
According to an early investigation, at least one child was sold to a family belonging to a Traveller community on the Island of Beauty (Ile de Beauté).
“We are facing a man who appears to have organized numerous births of children, destined for sale in France” explained a source close to the investigation. “The investigations are on-going. The number of children acquired via this network appears to be in the dozens. A third baby was to be sold mid-September, again in Marseille. The future mother arrived to France at the beginning of July while she was already pregnant, but the parents who were supposed to buy the child were already notified”.