An unemployed Chinese couple will go on trial in Shanghai for allegedly selling their baby daughter to pay for an online shopping spree, including an iPhone.
The couple, identified only as Mr. Teng and Ms. Zhang, posted advertisements for the baby in June, and suggested that they were willing to part with the unborn child in exchange for 50,000 yuan ($8,200 USD).
According to The Telegraph, Mr. Teng and Ms. Zhang delivered the baby at home, and then handed her over and received a large cash payment into their bank account the same day. The couple reportedly told prosecutors they were acting in the baby girl’s best interest and said they wanted to place her in a financially stable family who would be able to provide her with an education.
“We did not give the baby away for money but in order to give it more security,” the couple was quoted as saying.
Prosecutors believe Mr. Teng and Ms. Zhang plotted the “sinister conspiracy” to profit from the sale of the baby girl. One credit card bill showed that the couple went on an online shopping spree immediately after “trading” the baby girl. Their purchases included an iPhone and “high-end” sneakers.
Prosectors also allege that the couple tried to cover up Ms. Zhang’s pregnancy in order to hide the crime. They told neighbors she was suffering from a tumor to explain her pregnant belly.
Mr. Teng and Ms. Zhang have two older children and allegedly put the baby girl up for adoption before accepting money for her. It is unclear how much they received when the transaction took place.
Earlier this year, a businessman in India tried to buy a stolen baby on Facebook. The man paid 800,000 rupees ($14, 479) for the child, whose grandfather kidnapped him from his mother. Feroz Khan told his daughter her baby was stillborn, and then sold the child to a lab technician. The tech then posted a picture of the baby on Facebook, and businessman Amit Kumar offered to buy it.
The mother became suspicious when her father gave her some of the money from the sale. Police arrested Feroz Khan, his accomplice, and both of the hospital employees who initially bought the newborn. Amit Kumar also faced charges for purchasing the baby.
Khan sold the baby because he wanted to arrange a second marriage for his daughter, police said. He believed she would not find a new husband if she was raising a child.