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December 10, 2009

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Couple peddles baby for US$366

A JOBLESS young couple sold their 6-day-old son for 2,500 yuan (US$366) and spent nearly half of the money for items including a mobile phone before police caught them in southwest China's Chongqing City.

The baby is being cared for at the Wanzhou Welfare Institute, yesterday's Chongqing Times reported.

Police heard about the baby sale last Thursday. Officers arrived at a residential building and found a middle-aged man bargaining with two others while holding a baby in his arms. The baby, wrapped in a thin blanket, was crying.

The man claimed to be the baby's uncle and was finding adoptive parents for the toddler, whose birth parents were working in south China's Guangdong Province.

The man, surnamed Li, 43, a Shalong native, later told police he had bought the baby the night before from a young couple at a small inn in Wanzhou, the report said. The couple, a 21-year-old man surnamed Xin and a 19-year-old woman surnamed Zhang, gave away the baby because they said they were unable to support it.

Li is said to have told the couple he had relatives who wanted to adopt a child. He managed to take the baby away by paying 2,500 yuan.

Li took the boy to his hometown and tried to sell him on the street for 10,000 yuan.

Angered passers-by called police.

On Friday, police caught the young couple.

They said they had spent about 1,000 yuan of the 2,500 yuan they got for the baby, including buying a mobile phone for 650 yuan.

"I have no job and cannot support myself, let alone the baby," the man told police.

He also reportedly said he didn't want the baby back.


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