The results of an investigation have found no evidence to advocate the rumor that children have been sold for adoption at the Bo De Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam’s police said on Tuesday.
Police in the capital’s Long Bien District, where the pagoda is located, confirmed that no children were sold as adoptees at the pagoda after they launched an investigation into the rumor at the request of the district’s People’s Committee.
Any children who were sent to or from the pagoda in the past have been reported to competent agencies, police said.
Regarding the allegation saying that six children named Tung Anh, Bao Anh, Duy Anh, Vi Anh, Mai Anh, Huy Anh (who were once kept and taken care of at Bo De) have “disappeared from the pagoda” mysteriously, police said they have verified these cases and found that no children were sold as adoptees.
Of these children, Vi Anh remains at the pagoda, Tung Anh has been sent to a social center for medical treatment, and Bao Anh, Duy Anh and Mai Anh have been brought up by their relatives after leaving the place.
Meanwhile, the pagoda asserted with the police that the it has never received any child named Huy Anh.
As shown in files related to the pagoda’s keeping and supporting of abandoned or disabled children, Bo De has reported to local authorities and police about any children it received and supported, and all children that left the pagoda were controlled by the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs as well as local authorities, police said.
The public had been stirred up since early this month, when some newswires and social networks published a rumor saying that the Bo De Pagoda has become an “intermediate channel” for selling orphans to others for adoption purposes, the People’s Committee said.
For each child adopted, the pagoda received hundreds of millions of dong (VND100 million = US$4,700) from the adopter, according to the rumor.
However, middle-ranking bonze Thich Dam Lan, the abbot of the pagoda, has rejected the allegation that it was an intermediate channel for the trading of children for adoption.
As of July 16, Bo De was home to 145 orphaned, abandoned or disabled children and helpless old people, the middle-ranking bonze said.
The pagoda’s support for these unfortunate people has been done out of humanitarian purposes, the Buddhist dignitary said.