Italian police have arrested 18 people, including doctors, social workers and a mayor. The group of 18 have been accused of brainwashing children into thinking their parents had abused them so they could be taken away and sold to foster parents.
Police in the northern city of Reggio Emilia made the arrests after an investigation, revealed an alleged network of people that used methods including electroshock to brainwash children into believing they had been sexually abused.
The network is accused of then giving the children to foster families in exchange for cash.
The alleged abuse was reported by Italian media
“These accusations, if confirmed, are frightening and shocking,” Italy’s prime minister said in Japan at the G20 meeting.
The investigation, codenamed “Angels and Demons” revealed a conspiracy to “pass off as a model welfare system for abused minors what was in reality an illegal business to the children’s detriment,” La Repubblica newspaper reported.
Some of the foster parents are accused of sexually abusing the children they bought, according to La Repubblica.