Indonesian local police have arrested four (4), on claims of child trafficking. The report states that the 4 suspects allegedly sold a baby, last month, using Instagram. Among the suspects are a midwife and a 22-year old mother!
Also involved in the crime are a man who facilitates purchase–manages the Instagram account, and a buyer. According to the Surabaya police department, the 22-year old mother was planning to sell her baby. Priced at 15 million rupiah (or approximately 985 US dollars), the transaction was intercepted on October 3rd.
“We identified a mother who wanted to sell her baby via an Instagram account. The transaction took place through [encrypted chat platform] Whatsapp, and the baby was sold in Bali”, police officer Sudamiran said.
Furthermore, the suspected seller and buyer, are allegedly involved in two other related cases. In those ones, they sold babies for $1,300 each. Thankfully, during their arrest, an 11-month old baby was rescued.
Selling babies via Instagram? Reports of online child-trafficking surface!
The Instagram account (name withheld) had 750 followers. Apparently, the account took the form of a family welfare agency site. Unknowingly, it was just a front for child trafficking. “It features photos of masked women, anonymous photos, and stories of women putting their unborn babies up for adoption because of financial reasons or an “irresponsible partner”. The children advertised were often born out of wedlock — a significant social taboo in Indonesia”, the Organization for World Peace reported.
“I’m seven months pregnant, out of wedlock. I’m planning to find someone who wants to adopt my baby … I don’t want my family to know,” one post’s caption read.
Another rising crime on social media?
Social media has already been associated with crimes like terrorism, prostitution, defamation, fraud and more. But is this about to be yet another crime on the list?
Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection has revealed that this is nothing new. This crime has existed for decades, according to them. Now, it has just taken a digital turn. The chairman of the commission, Aris Merdeka Sirait, said to ABC News:
“It’s absolutely an awful, horrendous crime for adults to take benefits by selling children. But the motives of the sellers remain the same, it’s a mix between financial challenges and the hardship of having kids”.
Mr Sirait added that since abortion is illegal in Indonesia, parents rather sell off their babies. “There’s a tendency that it is done by teenagers and young adults because they deliver unwanted babies — for example, babies born out of wedlock but they can’t abort the pregnancy”.
Meanwhile the suspected culprits are facing a prison sentence of 15 years, should they be found guilty.