A young Chinese couple are facing many years in jail after allegedly selling their baby daughter to raise money for an iPhone and other luxury goods.
The couple, identified only as Miss Zhang and Mr Teng, are said to have placed anonymous advertisements in newspapers suggesting they would be willing to part with their baby – unborn at that stage – in exchange for 50,000 yuan (about £5,000).
Police in Shanghai have charged the couple with human trafficking after accepting money for the baby, who was born at home and still only weeks, or months old, when sold.
Having received the money, which was deposited in their bank account, the couple went out on a spending spree, using part of the proceeds to buy an iPhone, State media reported today.
The unemployed couple, who have two other children, were also accused of using the money to purchase a number of luxury goods
They are understood to have told prosecutors that they were acting in their daughter’s best interests, claiming they had hoped to find a home for her with a financially stable family who would be able to provide her with an eduction.
‘We did not give the baby away for money but in order to give it more security,’ Shanghai’s Jiefang Daily newspaper reported them as telling officials.
But prosecutors said they believed the couple’s bank records show they had hatched a ‘sinister conspiracy’ to profit from the sale of the baby.
One credit card bill is said to show that immediately after trading the child, the couple spent large amounts of money on the internet, including buying an iPhone and a pair of expensive trainers.
In an attempt to hide that they were behind the sale of a child, the couple tried to conceal the fact that Miss Zhang was pregnant and she had even gone to the length of giving birth at home.
They are said to have told neighbours that the baby bump during Miss Zhang’s pregnancy was a tumour.
IPhones are a sought-after commodity in China and only last year seven people were jailed in Hunan province for their role in the purchase of a kidney from a teenage boy, who used the money to buy an iPhone and an iPad.