Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Three Taiwanese men are under investigation by police on suspicion of importing women from Uzbekistan specifically for childbearing purposes.
The three men -- a doctor, a businessman and a pharmacist identified only by their last names Kuo, Shao and Lien, respectively -- are believed to have brought four Uzbek women to Taiwan since 2007 to serve as surrogate mothers.
According to the police, two of the women had three children with Kuo, one woman had one child fathered by Shao, and the other woman left Taiwan without having any children. Three of women have already left the country, the police said.
Shao, who operates a factory in Uzbekistan, is married to a Uzbek woman and they have one child, the police said.
Shao claimed that his wife was unable to have any more children and admitted to bringing a Uzbek woman to Taiwan in 2007 at cost of US$30,000 to serve as a surrogate mother, according to the police.
The woman came to Taiwan under the pretext of studying Chinese and was impregnated with Shao's sperm through artificial insemination, the police said. She was paid US$1,000 for each month of her stay in Taiwan and she left in August 2008 after giving birth to a baby boy who was later adopted by Shao, the police said.
According to the police, Shao's wife was kept in dark about the whole process.
Surrogate parenting is not allowed in Taiwan and doctors who knowingly perform artificial insemination prodecures for such a purpose could have their licenses suspended.
Kuo, a doctor who worked at a clinic owned by Shao and located in Cidu, Keelung City, was quite taken with Shao's two blonde children was eager to have one of his own, the police said.
However, since Kuo was in the process of divorcing his wife at the time, he hatched a plan for Lien -- a friend and colleagues of his and Shao's -- to engage in a fake marriage with a Uzbek woman and bring her to Taiwan, the police said.
According to the police, the woman bore Kuo a baby girl in February 2008 through artificial insemination and has since remained in Taiwan and assumed the family name of Kuo.
Using a similar ploy, the doctor impregnated another foreign woman and brought her to Taiwan, supposedly to study Chinese, the police said, adding that in March 2010 she gave birth to twin boys.
Before that, in March 2009 Shao had brought in another Uzbek woman to have a child for him but during a routine check at the artificial insemination clinic the woman was found be HIV positive and the clinic alerted the Keelung City Health Office, the police said.
In a bid to foil the system, Shao asked the Uzbek woman surnamed Kuo to pose as the other woman and to request another HIV test, this time at a Taipei City clinic, the police said.
When the test came up negative, the police said, the discrepancy in the two results was brought to the attention of the health authorities who began to look into the case and found that the blood samples had come from two different persons.
The woman who was found to be HIV positive left the country before health officials could track down her and the whole scheme was exposed, according to the police.
All the other people believed to be involved in the case were taken by police to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office Wednesday for questioning.
Kuo, Shao and Lien were released on bail, while the Uzbek woman surnamed Kuo was taken to an immigrant shelter as Lien had thrown her out after the scheme was exposed, the police said.