Website selling children based on hair, eye color sends shockwaves across Egypt
The emergence of a website dedicated entirely to selling children of all ages to interested customers sent shockwaves across the Egyptian society recently.
“We have children for sale of all ages for those interested in adoption or buying,” read a statement on the website, which offers newborns, infants and children up for sale whose biological parents are unknown.
The prices vary on the basis of gender, skin color, heath conditions, eye and hair color, in addition to an array of other physical characteristics.
An computer science engineer told Al Arabiya.net that he discovered the notorious website after creating a Facebook page to help find missing children.
Ramy el-Gebali said his page, which has 1.2 million followers, helps families of lost children by posting pictures of their missing children and the parents’ contact information in case any of the page’s followers has seen them.
Some followers of Gebali’s Facebook page who live in al-Shorouk city, northeast of Cairo, had told him about a suspicious apartment that housed many children and was always “frequented by some families who seem to come and leave with children.”
The followers told Gebali the arriving families drove fancy cars, and showed signs of wealth. Gebali says the neighbors reported what they saw to the police, and it turned out that the apartment residents were child kidnappers who wanted to put the kids up for sale.
From that incident, Gebali noted, he became more interested in knowing how these child traffickers find their customers.
By researching, Gebali came to discover the shocking website that helped the child traffickers find their customers.
Gebali said he found the owner of the website to be an Arab citizen residing in the Netherlands.
He was able to figure out how the process of selling the children through the website had been carried. He later informed police of his findings, along with the Human Trafficking department at the Egyptian Attorney’s Office.
Authorities are now taking the necessary measures, he added.
Egyptian anchor investigated for involvement in the case
In a separate incident, Egypt’s prosecution has summoned a controversial Egyptian anchor and her program’s director this week following an episode they aired on the kidnapping of children in Egypt.
The prosecution also ordered the detention of the program’s producer and photographer for 15 days in relation to the case on charges of “inciting the kidnapping of two children to prepare an episode of the program.”
During investigations, the program producer said she was assigned by her editor to contact a young man called Islam who presumably discovered “a gang that kidnaps children and puts them up for sale.”
Through this person, the producer added, she got in touch with the gang, and “told them she wanted to buy two children for 300,000 Egyptian pounds.”
The producer said that on the day she was going to meet the gang, Interior ministry officials had been informed of the location and timing at which the kidnappers were going to hand the children.
The police raided the location, freed the children and arrested the kidnappers, she added.
But she was later surprised to find out that the kidnappers are accusing her of “inciting the kidnapping of those children” after she offered money in return.
The program producer and photographer remain in custody pending investigation.