Meth-addict couple sells newborn son online for $8,300 to buy drugs and new mobile phones

The couple was found guilty of child-trafficking and sentenced to a combined 18 years in prison

                            Meth-addict couple sells newborn son online for $8,300 to buy drugs and new mobile phones
(Getty Images)

A drug-addict couple in China who sold their newborn son for a few thousand dollars so they could purchase methamphetamine and new phones have been sentenced to prison.

The parents, who have been identified in Chinese news outlet Sina as just Mr Wang and Ms Zhong, had reportedly sold their child last October to another couple who they met online and who had trouble conceiving a baby themselves.

Wang and Zhong, from the south-western Chinese city of Neijiang, were caught by the authorities almost immediately after they struck the deal because they had been on their radar due to their history of drug abuse.

Both were reportedly saddled in debt due to their drug habit and had hatched the plan to sell their baby to make money after Zhong became pregnant at the beginning of 2019 and used meth while carrying the child.

In February 2019, Zhong met a woman identified as Ms Lan in a group on Tencent QQ, an instant messaging software service that offers users online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movie, and group and voice chat software.

Lan and her husband, Mr Chen, had struggled to conceive a child of their own for years and were desperate for a baby. When they got in touch with Zhong, who offered to sell them her child, they readily agreed.

Zhong told Lan that she couldn't afford to raise a child and was looking for a family to "look after" her soon-to-be-born baby, but asked for money to seal the deal. The couples eventually agreed that Lan would pay them 60,000 yuan (USD 8,397) in "nutrition fees" so the child could be handed over them as soon as he was born.

Zhong gave birth to a baby boy on October 11, but within hours, Wang had left the hospital with the child. Unbeknownst to them, police who had been surveilling them due to their prior history of abuse had grown suspicious of his sudden movement and had started tracking his whereabouts.

They traced him to a location where they found him completing the deal with Lan and Chen. The next day, they tracked down the latter, who confessed they had struck an agreement to buy the baby from Wang and Zhong.

Officers then zeroed in on the drug-addicted couple in a hotel room, with footage showing them arresting the pair while stacks of cash and used meth bottles were scattered around the bed. When questioned, they admitted they bought crystal meth and two brand new mobile phones with the profit they made from selling their son. They said they had finished using the drugs just before the police showed up.

You can watch the video here.

On May 29, the Shizhong District People's Court of Neijiang found both parents guilty of child trafficking. Wang was sentenced to five years in prison while Zhong, who had previously been imprisoned for numerous crimes such as providing venues for drug users, robbers, and child traffickers, was given 13 years.

The newborn, who was found safe in Lan's and Chen's home, was rescued and has been placed into the custody of Wang and Zhong's grandparents.