Shigeta to talk surrogates with police

Mitsutoki Shigeta, the presumed father of at least 16 surrogate babies in Thailand, plans to meet Thai police to clarify his paternal motivations while attempting to arrange proper care of the children.

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Pol Lt Gen Korkiat Wongworachart, assistant commissioner for the Royal Thai Police Office, said Mr Shigeta's lawyer, Kong Suriyamonthon, yesterday presented him with a letter explaining his client's desire for the many surrogate children and confirmed that the 24-year-old Japanese man would submit to police questioning.

The assistant police chief did not reveal the content of the letter, but said he'd assigned Pol Maj Gen Naiwat Phadoemchit to review it. Police planned to then make an appointment with Mr Shigeta, who earlier had submitted DNA samples proving he was the babies' father.

Pol Lt Gen Korkiat said Mr Shigeta, whose whereabouts remains unknown, approached police because he wanted custody of the children. Twelve infants were placed in care of the state after police raided a condominium in Bangkok's Bang Kapi district on Aug 5 where they discovered nine babies living with nine nannies.

The nine children reportedly were conceived through services from All IVF fertility clinic run by Dr Pisit Tantiwattanakul, who closed it and removed all patient files after the scandal broke. The assistant chief said Dr Pisit planned to report on Saturday - police would issue an arrest warrant if he didn't.

Clinics used for his other surrogate babies have not been named and four of his sixteen presumed children were taken earlier to Cambodia, where they were reported to be well, Pol Lt Gen Korkiat said.

For the babies remaining in Thailand, Mr Shigeta has asked the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to allow nannies to care for the infants, the assistant police chief said.

Mr Shigeta, who fled Thailand after the raid, has not been charged with any crime. But Pol Lt Gen Korkiat said the investigations into him, Dr Pisit and All IVF clinic remain open. If any laws were broken, he said, charges would be pursued vigorously.

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