Authorities in the western state of Jalisco have nine people in custody as part of an investigation into a ring trafficking Mexican babies to Ireland.
All of the arrests took place in Guadalajara, the state capital and Mexico’s second-most-populous city.
Ten babies were rescued and prosecutors have taken statements from 15 Irish citizens, the Jalisco Attorney General’s Office said, adding that no charges were being contemplated against the foreign nationals.
The ring used newspaper ads to reach out to pregnant woman, who were then offered 1,200 pesos ($360) a month plus medical costs - to be paid by the prospective adoptive parents - for agreeing to give up their babies.
To conceal the true nature of the transaction, the traffickers had the women sign contracts to “rent out” their babies for advertising photo-shoots, the AG’s office said.
The babies would spend several days at the home of one of the suspects before being taken to a Guadalajara hotel and handed over to the Irish adoptive parents, who were told that the adoptions were legal.
Authorities are still pursuing other suspects in the case, the Jalisco AG’s office said.