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Selling kidnapped babies for adoption

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's high court Thursday upheld life sentences against two women convicted of selling kidnapped babies for $4,000 each to couples in Australia, the United States and Europe, a court source said.

The source said the high court also upheld the district court sentences against 37 other people, including doctors and midwives who issued false birth certificates for the kidnapped children, who ranged in ages up to 3 years.

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The Taipei District Court in December convicted Julie Chu, 31, of masterminding a 'baby export' syndicate that sold 38 children to foreign parents for adoption 'without the knowledge or consent' of the real parents.

Mrs. Chu and her baby supplier, Mrs. Jing Shu-Hua, 45, were both sentenced to life imprisonment and the high court upheld their sentences, in addition to those of the 37 others convicted of involvement in the adoption ring.

A five-month investigation led to an early morning police raid in April 1982 in which Mrs. Chu was arrested.

Babies were sold at $4,000 to $5,000 apiece to couples in Australia, the United States and European countries, the source said.

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