Couple in India sell 8-month-old child to buy an iPhone 14 and make Instagram Reels
A couple in West Bengal, India, have been charged after they were accused of selling their eight-month-old son so they could buy an iPhone 14 and make Instagram Reels.
The Times of India (TOI) reported that police have arrested the baby’s mother, identified only as Sathi, while the father, Jaydev, remained on the run.
According to the newspaper’s account, neighbours became suspicious after they noticed that the couple’s eight-month-old son appeared to be missing, and the two had seemed nonchalant about it when asked. They said they had left the baby with a relative.
Sathi and Jaydev have another child, a seven-year-old girl.
The neighbours said they also saw the two suddenly having an iPhone 14 and making Instagram Reels with it when they knew the two could not afford such a pricey smartphone, which cost at least 100,000 rupees (S$1,619) in India.
The neighbours last Saturday informed local councillor Tarak Guha, who went to the police to file a report.
The TOI said police later managed to rescue the baby boy from a woman in Khardaha, also in West Bengal.
Apart from already being charged with human trafficking offences, Sathi and Jaydev were also facing drug abuse charges.
The case echoes a similar incident in 2016, when a teenaged couple in Fujian province, China, sold their 18-day-old baby for US$3,533 (S$4,709), so they could buy an iPhone and a motorbike.
The father was later given a three-year prison term, while the mother spent two years in jail.
Xiamen Daily quoted the mother as saying then: “I was adopted, and in my hometown many people gave their kids for others to raise. I genuinely didn’t know this was illegal.”
In March, an Australian court heard that Kerri-Ann Conley, 30, of Waterford West in Logan, Queensland, had once tried to sell her unborn baby for an iPhone.
This revelation surfaced during a trial in which Conley was eventually handed a nine-year prison sentence for leaving her two young daughters to die inside a car where, over nine hours, the interior temperature reached a searing 61.5 deg C.