An Australian nurse and fertility specialist has been arrested by anti-human trafficking police for allegedly running a surrogacy clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Nine News reported Tammy Davis-Charles, 49, was arrested on Friday during a raid that saw two other individuals detained at a rented house.
The arrests come just weeks after the Cambodian government declared a ban on commercial surrogacy.
Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Office Police Colonel Keo Thea confirmed the arrest to the AFP on Sunday.
“She has been arrested for being an intermediary in surrogacy and for falsifying documents,” Keo Thea said.
“Australian people who wanted kids would contact her and she would charge US$50,000 for each request.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Davis-Charles was a mother to twin boys, conceived through surrogacy in Thailand.
The Police Colonel told the AFP the nurse had arranged for 23 Cambodian women to carry children for Australian couples since moving to Cambodia from Thailand over a year ago.
"Five babies have been born," he said.
The Melbourne woman faces up to two years in jail if she is convicted of allegedly engaging in surrogacy and allegedly falsifying documents.
The Police Colonel told the AFP the arrest was the first made in relation to surrogacy in Cambodia.
The recently-introduced ban follows in the footsteps of India, Nepal and Thailand who have all banned commercial surrogacy arrangements.
Cambodia was reported to have been a popular choice for couples seeking surrogacy as there were no laws excluding gay couples or single parents.
Director of the Australian non-profit organisation Families Through Surrogacy, Sam Everingham, told The AAP the arrests were evidence the Cambodian Government were taking their policy change seriously, according to Seven News.
"They are going to make it clear that those operators who are doing business there that they'll need to just not take Thai surrogates into Cambodia and falsify documents," he said.
"It's clear that Cambodia's keen to make sure that that (practice) stops (and) it's a good thing."
Davis-Charles will reportedly be sent to court for questioning on Monday.