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Interpol has launched an investigation into an alleged "baby factory" after it emerged that a Japanese businessman had fathered 16 surrogate children and expressed a desire for many more.

Police raided a home in Bangkok earlier this month, finding nine babies with nine nannies. Mitsutoki Shigeta, 24, has been identified as the father of each of them, as well as seven more. Authorities are looking into his motives, which he says are benign.

The children were apparently housed in unfurnished rooms filled with baby bottles, bouncy chairs, playpens and nappies, according to Thai police.

"What I can tell you so far is that I've never seen a case like this," Thailand's Interpol director, police Maj Gen Apichart Suribunya, said on Friday.

According to the Associated Press (AP), he added: "We are trying to understand what kind of person makes this many babies." The investigation will centre on Japan, Cambodia, Hong Kong and India.

"We are looking into two motives. One is human trafficking and the other is exploitation of children," said police Lit Gen Kokiat Wongvorachart, Thailand's...

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