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In search of the stolen children

August 30, 2008

Despite a wave of scandals, child-trafficking remains a huge problem for India, reports Matt Wade in Chennai.

Charities are normally keen to get some publicity to raise their profile and help with fund-raising. But that's not the case for orphanages and adoption agencies in Chennai, India's fourth biggest city.

They have closed ranks after years of negative stories about an adoption "scam" at a local orphanage called Malaysian Social Services.

Police say MSS received children who had been taken from poor families, fabricated new identities for them and then offered them for adoption in Western countries including Australia. The investigation has dragged on since 2000 and is now in the hands of India's premier police agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation.

But the scandal flared again this week when it was revealed a child called Zabeen had been taken from her family in Chennai and adopted by a Queensland couple in 2000....

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