An Indian newborn was allegedly sold for 800,000 rupees ($ 14,750) over Facebook, leading police to uncover a suspected child-trafficking racket, news reports said today.

The boy, born in a hospital in Ludhiana in the northern state of Punjab, was sold twice before the deal on the social networking site, broadcaster NDTV reported quoting police.

The infant’s grandfather allegedly first snatched the child from his own daughter, telling her he had been stillborn, to sell him to a nurse for 45,000 rupees, the report said.

The nurse, in turn, reportedly sold the baby for 300,000 rupees to a hospital lab assistant.

The infant was then allegedly put up for sale on Facebook by the lab assistant, and a businessman from New Delhi is accused of offering 800,000 rupees for him after seeing photographs.

The police raided the businessman’s house on Tuesday and recovered the child. They also arrested five people including the grandfather and another man accused of facilitating the deals, the report said.

The case was the “tip of a iceberg” of a child-trafficking scandal and more details were expected as the alleged middle-man was being questioned, police said.

Tens of thousands of children in India are thought to be trafficked every year, some for adoption but also many for bonded labour, begging or sexual exploitation.

It was the first reported case in India of child trafficking over a social networking site, the report said.

(This article was published on April 24, 2013)
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