Stuff co.nz 23 August 2014
Interpol said it has launched a multinational investigation into what Thailand has dubbed the “Baby Factory” case: a 24-year-old Japanese businessman who has 16 surrogate babies and an alleged desire to father hundreds more.
Police raided a Bangkok condominium earlier this month and found nine babies and nine nannies living in a few unfurnished rooms filled with baby bottles, bouncy chairs, play pens and nappies. They have since identified Mitsutoki Shigeta as the father of those babies – and seven others.
“What I can tell you so far is that I’ve never seen a case like this,” Thailand’s Interpol director, police Major General Apichart Suribunya, said Friday. “We are trying to understand what kind of person makes this many babies.”
Apichart said that regional Interpol offices in Japan, Cambodia, Hong Kong and India have been asked to probe Shigeta’s background, beginning last week. Police say he appears to have registered businesses or apartments in those countries and has frequently travelled there.
“We are looking into two motives. One is human trafficking and the other is exploitation of children,” said police Lieutenant General Kokiat Wongvorachart, Thailand’s lead investigator in the case. He said Shigeta made 41 trips to Thailand since 2010. On many occasions he travelled to nearby Cambodia, where he took four of his babies.
Shigeta has not been charged with any crime. He is trying to get his children back – the 12 in Thailand are being cared for by social services – and he has proven through DNA samples sent from Japan that he is their biological father.