copilul(photo source) Newspapers on Wednesday reported en masse of how Roumanian authorities have started proceedings to repatriate a child sold in France in 2004, paid for in installments. The Rroma family from Salaj sold their baby for EUR 5,100 to another Rroma family, the Zimbrus, already settled in Alfortville, France. It appears that the baby's parents went to France to find work when Rodica Lacatus (29) was expecting the little boy. The couple could not find work and the Zimbru family whom they had known in Roumania promised to help them. Nothing was forthcoming however and so the Zimbrus said their friends could either work for them 'as slaves' for 2 years at the end of which they would give them the money to return home OR they could sell them the baby Rodica was carrying. Rodica and her partner Nelu Moldovan (30) decided on the second option and agreed to sell their baby.

nelu_and_wife(Photo source) Pierre Michel was born in Alfortville and taken immediately by the Zimbrus who not only registered him in their name at the town hall in Alfortville but also back home in Satu Mare, too. Fast workers. Rodica Lacatus and Nelu Moldovan, who are intellectually challenged and have trouble expressing themselves in their mother tongue, were detained for 29 days on Tuesday evening, charged with 'minor' child trafficking. Prosecutors from the Office for the Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) first arrested them on Monday when they were caught collecting their last installment. Lacatus and Moldovan have two other children, aged 3 and 8. During the hearing they told the prosecutors they regretted their actions.

Meanwhile, little Pierre Michel is currently in the care of Firutei Lingurar (ex-Zimbru - the couple divorced in the meantime, I guess) who has French residence and receives 400 euros from the French state every month (as child benefit? Unclear for what) along with free housing. It has been said by various commenters that the Zimbrus bought Pierre Michel to help their begging 'enterprise' and I would not doubt that for a second. Not even a split second.

Here's my question: I am not concerned for the parents neither natural nor adoptive - they can all go jump in the lake for all I care - 5000 euros is all a child is worth to these scumbags - what a great investment in the long-run as future begging slaves earn about 100 euros a day either from an ever open hand or from theft, but how easy it was for his parents to part with him... I worry for the child who is today 6 years old and has grown up in Alfortville, France. He probably doesn't know either of his birth parents and has never set foot in Roumania. As he was born in France, shouldn't he have French nationality? It is not the child's fault that fate dumped him where it did as a money-spinner for the lining of the Zimbrus pockets and a victim of being born in the wrong time and place to such parents.... Wouldn't it be better for this little boy to stay in France with a French adopted family, go to school, get his BAC, go to university and MAKE something of his life? Wouldn't that be better?

Mr Sarkozy is right about Schengen and right about the deportation of criminals who are in France illegally and/or do not obey the laws of the land they have chosen to live in, but this child is not a criminal. He is the result of 4 adults' dishonour and criminality. Rodica and Nelu Whatever-their-names-are had no intention of working whatever they declare...at least Rodica didnt - she was heavily pregnant at the time. And if they didn't have any money, how did they get to France in the first place? If Basescu and co. did their jobs, it would be far harder for these low lives to do what they do, which results in the political discords that reign today between Roumania and a great deal of Western European countries, not to mention what it results in for the hundreds of children imprisoned in trafficking rings of beggars, thieves and prostitution. It's no good officials wailing that they did all they could re Schengen. They did not. It's no good Basescu howling about being a victim of France and Germany. he is NOT the victim. The French tax payer and children like Pierre Michel ARE victims however, and will continue to be for years to come unless something gets done NOW.

Moldovan's parents are reported to be stunned that their son is under arrest, for they had been told the little boy had died at birth. For that lie alone, I hope he and Rodica rot in jail.

IF the photograph at the top of this post from the article I've just read in Roumanian shows little Pierre Michel's blood siblings back in Salaj then his troubles are far from over - just look at what he is going back to. Don't we in France have a responsibility to this child? He is just a child and he, like every child, deserves a stab at childhood and a right to a hopeful future. If his parents loved him enough to sell him for 5000 euros once, what kind of home will this six year old be returning to - a home he has never known with people he has never met and who saw him as a 'way out'? Poor little thing. He should not be held responsible for the sins of the fathers. Here is at least one for whom we can help break the cycle which robs children of  childhood, innocence and love - every child's right.