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Illegal adoption network dismantled

Illegal adoption network dismantled
Published: Wednesday, 25 January, 2006,
09:56 AM Doha Time

MOSCOW: Russian and US police have dismantled a network they accuse of posing as a US adoption agency in order to illegally smuggle children, the Russian authorities announced yesterday.

“The prosecutor’s office, in co-operation with US law enforcement, have put an end to the illegal activities of an international criminal group which, under the guise of various service agencies, trafficked in children,” the prosecutor said in a statement.

Earning $10,000 to $20,000 per child, the Yunona Orphan Relief Fund, based in Napa, California, paid intermediaries in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Guatemala to gather information about children in orphanages “in exchange for bribes”, the statement said.

The Yunona agency came under scrutiny after six-year-old Alexi Geiko, placed by the agency in 2003, was beaten to death by his adoptive mother, Irma Pavlis, in the US....

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