A drug-addict couple has been charged in China after selling their newborn son online to strangers for nearly £7,000 ($8,673) to buy crystal meth.
The parents rushed to trade off their baby last October after striking a deal with another couple who had trouble conceiving through an online chatting platform.
The pair had been on police’s radar due to their history of drug abuse and were caught the next day in a hotel room with meth bottles and stacks of cash.
The parents from south-western Chinese city Neijiang were sentenced last month for child trafficking, reported Chinese news outlet Sina.
Their son has been rescued by police and is now looked after by the grandparents.
According to the report, the couple, Mr Wang and Ms Zhong, was long-time drug addict and buried in debts.
Ms Zhong was pregnant at the beginning of last year and even used meth multiple times during her pregnancy.
The pair then decided to sell their unborn son to pay off their overdue debts.
In February last year, Ms Zhong got to know a woman called Ms Lan in a group on QQ, a popular chatting platform.
Ms Lan and her husband, Mr Chen, had struggled to conceive for years and were desperate for a baby.
Ms Zhong had been imprisoned for various crimes before, including providing venues for drug users, robbery and child trafficking. But in 2018, she gave birth to her second child and her sentences were executed outside the jail. She got ‘let go’ by her prison’s manager in June, 2018.
Upon knowing Ms Lan last February, she told the woman that she couldn’t afford to raise a child and was looking for a family to ‘look after’ her unborn child.
They agreed that Ms Lan would pay 60,000 yuan (£6,800) ‘nutrition fees’ to the drug-addict couple, who would then hand over the baby as soon as he was born.
On October 11, Ms Zhong gave birth to a healthy boy. Within hours, Mr Wang left the hospital with his baby in a hurry.
But the parents did not realise that they had been under police surveillance due to their history of drug abuse.
Suspected of the father’s strange act, the officers immediately started tracing Mr Wang’s whereabouts and spotted him completing the deal with Ms Lan and Mr Chen.
On the next day, the authority tracked down Ms Lan and Mr Chen, who confessed their agreement with the sellers. The newborn boy was found at Ms Lan and Mr Chen’s home.
Police officers later caught Mr Wang and Ms Zhong in a hotel room.
Footage shows the officers arresting Mr Wang and Ms Zhong while stacks of cash and used meth bottles were scattered around the bed.
The couple admitted that they had bought a batch of crystal meth and two brand-new mobile phones with the profit from selling their son.
They said that they had just finished the drugs before the police arrived.
The drug-addict parents were found guilty of child trafficking on May 29 by the Shizhong District People’s Court of Neijiang.
Mr Wang was jailed for five years. His wife Ms Zhong was handed a six-year prison sentence.
The court said Ms Zhong would be imprisoned for a combined 13 years due to ‘unfinished prison terms from previous crimes’.