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Thai ladies got US$12.5K to act as surrogates: police

BANGKOK--Thai police said Monday they have questioned five women who were paid up to US$12,500 each by a Japanese man known to them as “Jack” to act as surrogate mothers.

The baffling case, which emerged after nine babies were found with nannies in a Bangkok condominium, has triggered a human trafficking probe and intensified the focus on the kingdom's murky surrogacy industry.

The alleged father, who is reported by Japanese media to be the son of an IT millionaire, has left Thailand but last week voluntarily sent a DNA sample to try to clear his name.

The tests revealed he is the biological father of at least 15 babies born to surrogates in the kingdom, although his motives remain unclear.

“We have already questioned five surrogate mothers — there are six left to question,” Police Colonel Decha Promsuwan who is leading the investigation told AFP.

“They said they went through agencies ... they wanted to do it because they could earn money, each of them was paid 300,000-400,000 baht (US$9,300-12,500).”

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