A young unemployed Chinese couple, who allegedly sold their baby girl and used part of the money to buy an iPhone and other expensive items, are facing criminal charges, state media reported today.
Shanghai prosecutors have brought a case against the couple identified as Zheng and Teng for human trafficking after they put their third child up for adoption through illegal online postings and accepted money for the baby, the Liberation Daily reported.
The couple began posting online advertisements for the child in June this year, Shanghai's Jiefang Daily newspaper reported today. The advertisements suggested they would be willing to part with their unborn baby in exchange for up to 50,000 yuan (USD 8,200).
After a home birth, designed to cover-up the crime, they handed over the baby girl and received a large cash payment into their bank account on the very same day, The Telegraph reported.
Investigators found that the mother used the money to buy an iPhone, high-end sports shoes and other expensive products, also online, after "trading" the baby girl, reports said.
The two reportedly told the prosecutors that they were acting in the best interests of their child since they already had two children and could not afford to bring up a third one.
"Giving away the child was not for obtaining benefits, but giving the child better guarantees," one was quoted as saying.
However, prosecutors said the couple's bank records clearly show they had hatched a "sinister conspiracy" to profit from the child's sale.
Last year seven people were jailed in China's Hunan province for involvement in the purchase of a kidney from a 17-year-old boy who used the money to buy and iPhone and an iPad.
China, the world's most populous nation, practises a strict one-child per couple population policy.