Greek police said they arrested a gypsy man and woman, aged 59 and 58, from northern Greece, on charges of kidnapping a minor after police found that their DNA does not match that of a baby they claimed was their own.
The case is similar to that of the little girl called Maria who was found in a Greek gypsy camp last year, setting off a worldwide hunt for her parents before it was discovered her mother was a Bulgarian gypsy.
In the new incident, police discovered the baby after looking into birth registrations around the country after it was found that there were virtually no checks required when people asked for a certificate of birth for a child.
The recent case in Katerini is linked to Maria’s, as the 58-year-old woman claims the baby was given to her by the woman who had falsely claimed to be Maria’s mother.
According to the Greek police, the couple had managed to obtain a birth certificate for the infant from the Municipality of Athens, after the 59 year-old woman had twice attempted, without success, to register the birth with the Municipality of Katerini, Greece. The Athens registry was criticized previously for being lax in registering births without asking for proof.
Authorities said a third person involved in the case is a 41 year-old woman who is alleged to have delivered the infant to the couple. She is already in prison for another offense and DNA tests reportedly show she is not the mother either.
As part of a preliminary investigation, the gypsy couple went to the police to answer some questions, taking the baby with them, and they were arrested when it was ascertained the child was not theirs.
The woman reportedly said the infant was handed over to them in September 2013 near Larissa, central Greece, without money changing hands.
The social services of the Greek Ministry of Health have taken the child into care, and tests have shown her to be in good health.