Man suspected of trafficking children arrested in Bulgaria

Police in the Black Sea city of Varna arrested a man suspected of trafficking children in Europe, after receiving footage from an undercover British television news report on baby smuggling, a police spokeswoman said.

Hasan Ahmed Hasan, 39, was arrested Thursday, hours after Varna police received video from the British Broadcasting Corp. that showed the suspect negotiating to sell toddlers and babies, Varna police spokeswoman Kalina Pencheva told The Associated Press.

The footage allegedly shows Hasan talking to the undercover BBC reporters, posing as British customers, about the sale of children for EUR 60,000 (US$82,000).

The BBC report, aired Thursday in Britain, also allegedly shows Hasan promising to bring the babies across internal European borders to London for an additional fee.

Varna police said Hasan, whose wife lives in Scotland, was known also by the name Harry Alexiev Hristov.

In the news broadcast, Hasan is allegedly shown saying he previously had smuggled children to Germany and Norway, and boasting of trafficking prostitutes from Bulgaria to Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Police launched an investigation into the case, and said they were looking for other members of the trafficking ring.

Several human trafficking rings have been busted in recent years, the last of which was smuggling pregnant women abroad to give birth and to sell their babies.

In February, France convicted nine Bulgarians and tens of French citizens for selling Bulgarian babies to French couples.