NEWS

Baby dealers caught in act

Police in Ioannina have uncovered a baby-smuggling operation which involved Roma, or Gypsies, in Albania bringing children up to the age of 5 into Greece, where they were sold for adoption, officers said yesterday. Two officers posed as a couple interested in adopting a baby and met five Albanian Gypsies near a Roma settlement in the northwestern city. The suspects, three men and two women, were arrested as soon as they accepted 3,000 euros in marked bills. The 3-year-old boy they were intending to sell was taken to the hospital for medical checks. The chief of the Ioannina police force, Ilias Dodis, said that up to eight children from Albania had been sold in Greece by the gang. He did not rule out the possibility that the final figure may be higher. Dodis said that the children had been taken from Gypsies in Tirana and Elbasan in Albania and that police in the neighboring country had also made arrests in connection with the case. He did not give further details.