News Local Woman pleads not guilty to child trafficking and illegal adoption charges

Woman pleads not guilty to child trafficking and illegal adoption charges

A woman from the Philippines on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to conspiracy relating to child trafficking and participating in an illegal adoption, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

It said the 47 year old pleaded guilty to 17 other charges relating to perjury, circulating a forged document, obtaining documents under false pretenses, forgery and securing registration with fraudulent means.

The woman was arrested last month in connection with an alleged illegal adoption case for a same-sex couple. Two men – a Greek Cypriot and a Turk – are wanted in connection with the same case.

They are believed to have crossed into the Turkish occupied north and from there travelled to Turkey, taking the baby with them.  International and European arrest warrants have been issued but they have still not been traced.

The woman is charged with conspiring with others between March 2017 and October 2018 in Cyprus and the Philippines to the trafficking of a child.

She is also charged that on October 8, 2018 she with others brought a child from the Philippines in return for money and with a view to arranging for its illegal adoption.

According to the charge sheet the woman made a false statement that she was the birth mother of the baby, born on July 27, 2017 in the Philippines by presenting a fake birth certificate from her country stating she was the mother and a Cypriot citizen the father.

At a hearing in February,  the prosecution said the defendant had admitted in her statement to the police that she had travelled to the Philippines, arranged to bring a baby to Cyprus in exchange for money with the aim of it being illegally adopted.

The court ordered the woman remain in custody until June 6 when the trial will continue.

Child trafficking carries a punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment.

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