Image: Thai officials arrange bags containing dead fetuses
Sakchai Lalit  /  AP
Thai officials arrange bags containing dead fetuses found at the morgue of a Buddhist temple in Bangkok on Friday.
updated 11/19/2010 2:07:12 PM ET 2010-11-19T19:07:12

About 2,000 human fetuses have been found at a Buddhist temple in Thailand's capital, according to reports.

Thai authorities discovered the remains in the temple's mortuary, where they had been hidden for a year — apparently to conceal illegal abortions.

A woman who was detained earlier this week in connection with the discovery confessed Friday to performing illegal procedures, Thai media said.

Lanjakorn Jantamanas, 33, allegedly took the fetuses to a morgue at the temple, the Bangkok Post reported.

Police found 348 fetuses on Tuesday after nearby residents complained of a foul smell. Temple staff traced the smell to a compartment in the morgue, where they found plastic bags containing dead fetuses.

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Police later raided three clinics in the Thon Buri neighborhood of Bangkok and arrested Jantamanas, the report said.

At least 1,500 more fetuses were found Thursday night, police said.

Jantamanas admitted to transporting bodies for the abortion clinics and said a doctor at one of the three sites taught her how to perform abortions, police allege.

She told authorities that she had been hired by a number of clinics to transport the fetuses and had been doing so for at least five years. The clinics paid her 500 baht ($17) per trip, she said.

She began performing abortions after a doctor she worked with moved to another clinic. She charged patients 5,000 baht ($167) if they were up to three months pregnant and 30,000 baht ($1,000) if they were up to five months pregnant.

China's Xinhua news service reported that an undertaker at the morgue had confessed to storing the fetuses. Suthep Chabangbon, 46, said he usually cremated the bodies but the crematorium had not been working properly.

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