NEW DELHI: In a bizarre case that brings together the twin evils of child trafficking and social media abuse, a newborn Indian baby was sold to a businessman for Rs 800,000 via Facebook.
The child was born in a Ludhiana hospital, and early reports indicate that he was already sold twice before the final Facebook deal was struck. The first sale was by the infant's grandfather, who told his daughter the infant was stillborn, and sold the child to a nurse for Rs 45,000.
The nurse then sold the child to a hospital attendant for Rs 300,000; the latter in turn put the child up for sale on Facebook, which is where the Delhi-based businessman completed the third sale in the series.
A police raid on the businessman's home Tuesday resulted in the child's recovery; police have since arrested five people involved in the deal, including the grandfather and one other unnamed individual accused of facilitating the sales.
Police say this case is the tip of a very big iceberg of child-trafficking; estimates indicate that tens of thousands of children are trafficked each year out of India alone.
This is, however, the first known instance of a social networking site being used to facilitate this deal.
It is not the first such instance in the world, though. In March this year, Misty Van Horn, mother of two in Oklahama, US, offered her ten month and two year old children for sale on Facebook, and ended up behind bars.
Police reports indicate the 10 month girl was offered for a mere $1000, with a package deal offering both children for $4000.
In an ironic twist, the woman was attempting to earn $1000 to get her boyfriend out on bail. (With agency inputs)