The Command Post – Global Recon – The Darker Side
Amidst all the stories of heroism and humanity by the relief workers, there are some stories showing that we’re a very imperfect species.
Concerns have been raised in Indonesia that children orphaned by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Aceh are being taken away by unidentified adults claiming to be relatives, or wanting to adopt them.
Last Friday, Raja, a 5-year-old boy who lost his parents in the earthquake was among hundreds of Acehnese on board a Hercules transport plane that landed at an Air Force base in the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan, where many have taken refuge.
He has become a focus of attention, his story appearing on the front pages of local newspapers in the past few days.
Soon after his arrival, a couple who claimed to be his parents tried to take him away but they were stopped by Ms Mutiara, who noticed that the couple did not look Acehnese.
Suspicious of their intentions, Ms Mutiara put several questions to them.
Under questioning, the couple finally confessed they were not Raja’s parents, but claimed they lived next door to his family.
Ms Mutiara suspected that the couple had in fact been paid by someone, perhaps a member of a child-trafficking syndicate, to collect the child.