Trainee cop foils Spanish baby-buying plot

A Spanish couple's €3,000 plot to buy a Moroccan baby has ended in prison thanks to a lucky trainee policeman's action.

Trainee cop foils Spanish baby-buying plot
Spanish police have prevented the sale of a Moroccan baby in the North African Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Photo:AFP/Pedro ARMESTRE

A husband and wife from Malaga were sentenced on Thursday for their 2011 attempt to buy an unborn child, Andalusian online newspaper Sur reported.

A Spanish woman from Ceuta acted as intermediary between the couple and a pregnant Moroccan woman who agreed to hand over her baby when it was born in return for €3,000.

The scheme was accidentally discovered by a policeman training in the city of Ceuta who reported it to his colleagues.

Ceuta's criminal court sentenced the husband to a year's imprisonment as well as a fine of €3,240 and a four-year loss of custody and guardianship rights. 

His partner received a six-month suspended sentence.

The biological mother was fined €135 while the intermediary and her mother received six month suspended sentences. All defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

The baby, now two years old, is in the care of Ceuta social services.

This is not the first time this week that Spain has been rocked by the sale of Moroccan babies to Spanish families.

Police yesterday revealed 28 cases from the 1970s and 1980s where newborns were taken from their mothers in Morocco and the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla and sold to families in mainland Spain.

The investigation was opened in November 2011 following a complaint from ANADIR, an association formed to represent victims of the scandal.

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Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.