Surrogacy ring arrest in Bangkok linked to missing toddler case

Raids on an illegal surrogacy ring lead to one arrest. (via Above the Law)

A series of raids and an arrest have been carried out against an international surrogacy ring, suspected to be tied to last year’s missing toddler case in Bangkok. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) this week searched three clinics in Bangkok and a building in Nong Khai, with a man apprehended for suspected involvement as an agent in the operation.

DSI Assistant Spokesman, Atsadawut Sripita, and Director of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Transnational Crime, Police Captain Tinnawut Seelapat, revealed that these raids are part of ongoing investigations into the surrogacy ring. The DSI’s involvement was triggered after local police discovered that the missing one-year-old toddler, Thaenthai, was likely a victim of a syndicate operating in Central and Northeast regions.

In a prior raid last year in Nong Khai’s Phon Phisai district, two infants alleged to be born to paid surrogate mothers were found in a nursery. A bank book was also discovered, indicating that roughly 20 surrogate mothers had been hired by an agent, with each woman being paid between 450,000-500,000 baht for each baby delivered for the gang.

The investigation was expanded on August 23 when a search warrant led DSI Deputy Director-General Pol. Capt. Piya Raksakul, along with officials from the Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Department of Health Service Support, to raid three clinics in Bangkok.

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The first clinic, located on Ngam Wong Wan Road in Chatuchak district, was found to employ a fertility specialist who had been providing fertility diagnosis and treatment for paid surrogate mothers from 2018-2020. Medical records of women who had acted as illegal surrogates were also found at this location.

The second raid on the surrogacy ring took place at a clinic on Phetchaburi Road in Bang Kapi district, where the same doctor was employed on a part-time basis, offering fertility diagnoses.

The last clinic, situated on Phloenchit Road in Pathumwan district, was linked to the doctor through transaction records. It was discovered that paid surrogate mothers had received health examinations at this clinic before being sent abroad for intracytoplasmic sperm injections. Passports of the surrogate mothers and their infants were also found. However, the clinic does not have permission to use medical reproductive technology or offer such services.

On August 28, Sunate Chomsri was arrested for his alleged involvement in the surrogacy ring. A search of his home revealed a list of surrogate mothers who had been procured and paid by Chomsri, with the prospective customers believed to be foreigners.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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