Missing toddler now with Johor's social workers

JOHOR BARU - A two-year-old girl who went missing for weeks and was reportedly "adopted" by a couple in Singapore is now being cared for by social workers in Johor.

The case is still under investigation, said the Johor police chief, Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd. He met Malaysian press on Monday (Jan 4) morning at Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Johor, a 10-minute drive from the Causeway.

The toddler, Angie Tiong, was handed to the social welfare team on Sunday and is currently at a hospital in Johor for a routine medical check up.

The couple who "adopted" her are also believed to be recording their statements in the police station in Johor. It is not clear if they were the ones who handed the child over to the police. They have not been identified, but the police chief confirmed that they are Malaysians and permanent residents in Singapore.

The toddler was being cared for by her relatives when her father took her away from her Johor Baru home on Nov 9 last year. When the 33-year-old man, who has not been identified, failed to return with the girl, her relatives questioned him. He then lodged a missing person police report on Dec 10.

The father, who has a history of substance abuse, told the police that he handed his child to a man in Johor, who gave him RM12,000 (S$4,000). Angie's relatives suspect that he has sold his daughter.

China Press had reported that the toddler - who is said to have been abandoned by her Vietnamese mother - had been "adopted" by a childless married couple in Singapore.

The paperwork had been done by a lawyer in Johor Baru appointed by the couple's middleman, said a source, adding that the adoption process had been done according to Singapore laws and Angie's father signed over the custody of the girl to the couple.

It is believed that the couple has never seen Angie's father. The source said he was not sure if money was given to the father.

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