'Fake' Mother Snatches Baby From Hospital

A New Zealand woman allegedly fooled her family into believing she was pregnant for nine months before walking into a maternity hospital and abducting a baby.

Police say 24-year-old Neha Narayan, of Fijian-Indian descent, told her partner she was about to give birth last Wednesday so he dropped her off at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital where she was able to roam the maternity ward.

She was able to bypass the ward's security measures and pick up an Indian baby.

"She just helped herself," police spokeswoman Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey told Sky News.

"She then walked out of the hospital having called her partner to ask him to pick her up. 

"A nurse became suspicious and followed her to the exit. As she made her way to the car the nurse said 'what are you doing, come back inside'," said Ms Gates-Bowey.

It is alleged the baby's actual parents also saw her carrying away their child and alerted other staff who called the police. 

Spokeswoman for the hospital, Lauren Young, told Sky News: "This is a very rare event. This person managed to avoid normal checks in a closed ward. We will be reviewing the security systems to make sure this does not happen again."

Middlemore Hospital has New Zealand's busiest maternity unit. 

CCTV cameras are in operation and doors are unlocked using identity cards. Only parents, close family and staff are normally allowed on the wards.

"The woman was apprehended before leaving the hospital environment," said Ms Young. "Thankfully it turned out well."

Neha Narayan has been charged with abduction. She was remanded on bail and will appear in court again later this month.

If found guilty of abducting a young person she faces a maximum of seven years in prison.

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