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Father sells his son after losing job due to COVID-19

A father in China has allegedly sold his newborn son for 163,000RMB ($24,900), including a gold necklace and a gold bracelet to a stranger he met online after losing his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The father who already had two sons, aged seven and two, is reported to have faced financial issues because of his unemployment. He allegedly convinced his pregnant wife to agree to the illegal deal before trading his 40-day-old baby to a woman known to be desperate for a child.

The case surfaced on Monday 16th November by Chinese news site Anhui Net, which sourced the local railway police. According to the report, the unlawful transaction came to light after the accused buyer, known by her Ms. Xu, caught the police’s attention when she was riding a train with the baby on October 30th. Keep in mind, she’s carrying a new-born baby on a train in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms. Xu was said to be traveling from Jiang’an County in south-western China’s Sichuan Province – where the baby’s biological parents live – to her home in Huoshan County in eastern China’s Anhui Province.

She was asked to get off the train in the city of Hefei for questioning after police officers found her behaviour odd. Ms. Xu initially told police that she had adopted the baby. But after further interrogation, she admitted that she had paid the so-called ‘nutrition fees’ in exchange for the boy.

The Hefei Railway Police immediately launched an inquiry and interrogated the baby’s biological parents on November 3.  Upon investigation, the police found out that the baby’s father, Mr. Liu, and mother, Ms. Zhang, were migrant workers.

The police said that Mr. Liu was unable to find work due to the Covid-19 pandemic and found it difficult to keep paying his mortgage and affording his car.

The father-to-be allegedly wanted to reduce the family’s financial burden by selling his child.

After convincing his pregnant wife that the move was a good idea, Mr. Liu approached his first potential customer, a woman of three girls who wanted to have a son.

The buyer-to-be, Ms. Wu, agreed to pay Mr. Liu 100,000 yuan after an ultrasound scan confirmed that Mr. Liu’s wife was carrying a boy. She even arranged Ms. Zhang to give birth. 

The deal fell through when Ms. Wu failed to register the identity of the baby with the police because he was not her biological child.

Mr. Liu then contacted the second interested client, 43-year-old Ms. Xu, who also yearned for a baby but was not able to have one.

The police said that Ms. Xu was so keen to take Mr. Liu’s son home that she remortgaged her house to obtain enough cash as soon as she got to know him through the internet.

Mr. Liu, his wife Ms. Zhang and the suspected buyer Ms. Xu, are currently under police detention on suspicion of child trafficking. The case is under further investigation.

Under the Chinese law, anyone who is found guilty of trafficking and selling children can be jailed for five to 10 years, but life sentences or death penalties can also be issued. We all have been feeling desperate because of Covid-19, but this is just another story as to how desperate the pandemic has caused others to be. Let’s see a list of some countries where there isn’t as much desperation because they lack Covid-19 cases here!

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