Ukraine stops smuggling of 2 infants

March 24, 2011 4:29:13 AM PDT
Ukrainian authorities have detained a French family that tried to smuggle out two 2-month-old infants hidden under a mattress in a van. Border Guard spokesman Eduard Steblyuk said Thursday that a 38-year-old French medic and his 66-year-old father placed the twin girls in a chest under the mattress as they tried to cross the Ukrainian-Hungarian border on Monday.

He says the men said the children were born to a surrogate mother in Kiev. They say they wanted to take the children out of Ukraine illegally and register them as French citizens, bypassing a law that does not recognize surrogate mothers.

The two men are being held in custody. Authorities are also questioning the medic's wife, also a French citizen, who was staying at a hotel nearby.