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How Two Sets Of Undercover Journalists Accidentally Ended Up Investigating Each Other

Two journalists from The Sunday Times set out to investigate whether Bulgarians would sell babies. And a Bulgarian journalist set out to investigate whether Britons would buy their babies. Disaster ensues.

1. It seemed like a great idea. Journalists from Bulgaria’s Nova TV would investigate whether parents from richer countries were trying to illegally buy Bulgarian children.

Bulgarian journalist Veronika Dimitrova found a post left on a message board in broken Bulgarian by an English couple calling themselves “Heidi and Richie.” The couple wanted to buy a baby, so Dimitrova got in touch.

Over email Heidi explained that the couple were willing to pay anything for a child, since they were unable to have a baby by conventional means. After exchanging emails the couple sent over a picture of themselves together and insisted that “money is not an issue.”

2. Dimitrova was excited. The “Calvert family” were willing to come to Bulgaria within days. She sensed a scoop.

And she was ready to go undercover and film the English couple’s reaction when she explained that child trafficking was against the law.

3. The “Calvert Family” were also excited. Because they also thought they were onto a scoop.

The English couple were not actually married. Instead they were Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake, mainstays of the The Sunday Times’ legendary investigative journalism team. And they were also preparing to go undercover.

4. Which is how they end up here: in a Bulgarian bar, with a Bulgarian undercover journalist trying to sting two people they believe to be an evil baby-buying British couple.

5. And, on the other side of the table, two British undercover journalists trying to sting someone they believe to be an evil baby-selling Bulgarian.

6. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t really work out. Watch the full Nova TV report here:

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