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November 20, 2009

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Police accuse unwed couple of selling baby

A YOUNG couple in east China's Jiangsu Province have run afoul of the law for selling their newborn boy online for 15,000 yuan (US$2,196).

They spent the money shortly after the sale on a new computer, cell phone and other goods, police said.

The couple were unmarried and thus unable to register the child with local authorities, and because of their meager incomes they were unwilling to keep the boy, yesterday's Yangtse Evening Post reported.

The man was detained and the woman was released on bail due to poor heath. Both were accused of child trafficking, the newspaper said, though no formal charges had been filed as of late yesterday.

Police in Changzhou City began looking into the case after being tipped on November 10 that an expectant mother had posted an Internet notice offering to sell her baby.

Officers traced the mother-to-be's IP address to Changzhou. Eight days later, they caught the woman, surnamed Xie, 22, and her boyfriend surnamed Yao, 23.

The couple told the police that they didn't realize they were expecting a baby until May when Xie was five months pregnant and it was too late for an abortion.

The boy would be considered an illegal child as the couple were not married because their families disapproved of their relationship. The couple's poor financial status made them unwilling to keep the baby, they told police. Yao was working at a local bicycle factory and Xie was a cashier at an Internet bar.

The couple said they posted four messages online seeking someone to "adopt" their baby. They asked for 15,000 yuan for the baby plus reimbursement for an unspecified amount of medical bills.

They were initially contacted by a buyer from Yancheng, also a city in Jiangsu Province, they told police.

The infertile woman was eager to find a baby as she was pretending to be pregnant to make her mother-in-law happy. But she finally had to drop the deal because her mother-in-law found out about her scheme, the newspaper reported.

Then a childless couple from Quzhou, a city in Zhejiang Province, contacted Xie.

That couple's representatives arrived at the Changzhou hospital where Xie gave birth to the baby on November 11 and took the baby to Quzhou later that day after paying Xie 15,000 yuan and covering her medical costs, according to the newspaper.

Yao and Xie spent nearly all the money shortly after receiving it, police said. They bought a 5,000 yuan computer, a 3,000 yuan mobile phone and other things. They had only 2,000 yuan left when they were approached by police.

Police then found the Quzhou couple, who were government workers, and took the baby back to Changzhou last Saturday. It was unclear yesterday what will happen to the infant now.


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