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Arrests over Samoa adoption scam

The owners of an American adoption agency have been charged with running a baby-smuggling operation out of Samoa.

An investigation by ONE News Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver first highlighted the alleged scam which US officials have called "shocking and appalling".

Seven people involved with the Utah-based agency are accused of deceiving parents in Samoa into signing away their children.

US investigators allege that as well as being mistreated in a nanny or halfway house, Samoan birth parents were deceived into thinking they would get their children back when they were older.

US officials allege the agency targeted Samoan children for adoption by observing the market or other places where women gathered.

Local agent Dan Wakefield is one of those charged. He told ONE News it wasn't his fault if Samoan parents misunderstood.

Behind the tale of alleged fraud, selling children and money laundering are the families.The parents only intention was to give their children a good future that they could not afford to give themselves.

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