Mother tries to sell child on Internet
A South African mother appeared in court Friday charged with trying to sell her 19-month-old baby on the Internet for 5,000 rand ($380), officials said, after a police sting operation halted her plan.
Police were tipped off that the woman, aged 20, had offered her son for sale on the popular advertising website Gumtree.
â€œWe met her and there was an exchange of money with an undercover police officer,â€ Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the Hawks special crimes investigation unit, told AFP.
â€œShe gave us the money and we arrested her directly.â€
The woman appeared in court in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal province, on human trafficking charges, and her case was adjourned until October 26.
â€œGumtree South Africaâ€™s customer service team was alerted that a young woman had placed an ad on the site advertising a child for sale,â€ company spokeswoman Claire Cobbledick said in a statement.
â€œThe team immediately removed the ad and blocked the userâ€™s account. (We) escalated the issue to the corporate office that engages law enforcement on suspected criminal cases.â€
The child was in good health and has been taken into care by social workers.
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