Thai 'baby factory' doctor to surrender

The doctor at the centre of a scandal involving surrogate babies has agreed to turn himself in, Thai police said yesterday.

The doctor wanted in connection with the so-called baby factory allegedly performed in vitro fertilisation on five women linked to a Japanese businessman.

Mitsutoki Shigeta is suspected to have fathered 16 children with 11 Thai surrogate mothers, reported UK's The Guardian. Mr Shigeta has reportedly fled Thailand.

The doctor, who was not named, has until Sept 6 to turn himself in and is expected to do so, said police investigator Colonel Decha Promsuwan. He did not elaborate, but said an arrest warrant would be issued if the doctor failed to show up.

The doctor has been charged with practising surrogacy without a licence and with violating the Thai medical council's code of conduct, which bars commercial surrogacy. He faces up to three years in prison.

Thailand has been gripped by a slew of surrogacy scandals following allegations this month that an Australian couple abandoned their Down's syndrome baby with his Thai surrogate mother.

The case prompted a crackdown by the authorities on Thailand's largely unregulated surrogacy business, which is used by many overseas couples.