Page last updated at 08:56 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 09:56 UK

Six jailed for Vietnam baby fraud


Six Vietnamese have been sentenced to jail for arranging more than 300 fraudulent adoptions, an official said.

The six were jailed for two to four-and-a-half years for "abuse of power", court official Nguyen Tien Hung said.

Among those convicted were two heads of provincial welfare centres, doctors, nurses and local officials.

They were found to have filed false papers to allow babies from poor families to be adopted, many by parents in France, Italy and the US.

Ten other people received suspended sentences of 15 to 18 months.

They came from the province of Nam Dinh, south of Hanoi.

The falsified papers said the babies had been abandoned, making them eligible for adoption by foreign parents, the prosecutors said.

The group was operating from 2005 to July 2008, when the two key suspects were arrested.

The case came to light last year after the US embassy in Hanoi accused Vietnam of failing to police its adoption system, allowing corruption, fraud and baby-selling to flourish.

The US report led Vietnam to end a bilateral adoption agreement.

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