Two jailed over baby sale

2010-12-30 08:38
Kuala Lumpur - A Malaysian court sentenced a doctor and his assistant to a year in jail for selling a newborn boy in what a government lawyer said was a rare successful prosecution over baby trafficking.

A court in southern Johor state found Dr Robert Luk and his assistant Suleiman Salim guilty on Wednesday of selling the baby to a couple for 10 000 ringgit ($3 200) in 2005, said prosecutor Dzul Iswari Mohamad Jaafar.

Luk, working at a private obstetrics clinic, was accused of altering the birth certificate of the boy, born to a poor woman who wanted to give him up for adoption. Suleiman acted as a middleman, taking the baby from the woman, Dzul Iswari said.

The offence - unlawful transfer of control of a child - carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine. The judge postponed the execution of the sentence to allow the two men to appeal.

Dzul Iswari said that the couple who bought the baby was not charged, nor was the mother. The couple was not aware of the sale and believed they were adopting the baby legally, thinking that the money they paid was the fee to cover the boy's mother's medical bills, he said.


The mother was unaware that her son was sold for money and believed he was being given up for adoption through proper channels, Dzul Iswari said. The couple and mother appeared as prosecution witnesses. Several people have been arrested in recent years over the sale of babies.

But it was not immediately clear if any of the accused were ever convicted. Dzul Iswari said there had been no successful prosecutions until Wednesday's verdict, as all other cases were pending.

"This has become the first such case," he said.

Abdul Majid Hamzah, head of the prosecution division in the Attorney General's chambers, said he recalls some successful prosecutions but could not give details. The act under which the doctor and his assistant were charged came into effect in 2001.

In 2009, Malaysian police rescued six babies and arrested 15 people allegedly involved in a child trafficking ring, which paid women to get pregnant for childless couples. It was not immediately clear whether any of the suspects were prosecuted.

The Kuala Lumpur-based group allegedly paid Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino and Vietnamese immigrant women 5 000 ringgit ($1 600) for each baby delivered.

The babies were sold on for 20 000 ringgit each ($6 500). The gang is believed to have been operating for more than five years.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    malaysia publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.