if the couple wanted the baby, they should contact her.
Two Indian women were arrested for trying to sell a newborn baby to a couple for Rs. 4.5 Lakh (£4,600).
The women, identified as Mumbai residents Julia Fernandez and Shabana Shaikh, were arrested on July 31, 2022.
Meanwhile, the 15-day-old baby girl was rescued by officers.
According to police, a couple from Pune had approached an adoption centre a few months ago and filed an application to adopt.
They later received a text message stating that a woman was selling a newborn girl for Rs. 4.5 Lakh without any legal formalities.
The message also said that if the couple wanted the baby, they should contact her.
Suspecting that something was wrong, the couple informed the adoption centre.
Staff members went on to approach the office of the women and child welfare commissioner in Pune.
A preliminary investigation revealed that the messages had originated from Mumbai. The city’s social service branch was urged to look into the incident.
Senior police inspector Manoj Sutar said:
“After getting information, we formed a team comprising a lady constable and male police officer from the special juvenile police unit (SJPU) and approached the accused pretending to be prospective parents and wanted to adopt a newborn baby girl.”
Following a telephone call, the accused agreed to meet the couple at a nursing home in Sion Koliwada.
Fernandez and Shaikh demanded Rs. 4.5 Lakh, claiming they would give Rs. 4 Lakh (£4,100) to the baby’s parents and they would keep Rs. 50,000 (£520).
Inspector Sutar then visited the nursing home and when the accused handed over the baby to plainclothed officers, Fernandez and Shaikh were arrested.
During questioning, the Indian women said that the baby girl was born to a Delhi-based couple, who gave their child to the suspects in order to sell her.
A police officer said Fernandez worked as an agent while Shaikh took care of the child.
The investigation also revealed that Fernandez had previous cases registered against her for similar offences.
Both women were arrested and booked under charges of human trafficking.
In a previous incident, an Indian woman was arrested after she sold her three-year-old son so she could remarry.
The matter came to light a year after the woman left her husband with their child.
Ajay Dharjia got married to a woman named Jayashree in 2017. The marriage was arranged after he paid Rs. 2.40 Lakh (£2,400) to the woman’s mother Ramben Vyas.
The couple soon became parents to a son. However, one day, Jayashree left the family home with her son when he was two years old.
Ajay subsequently filed a missing persons’ complaint with the police.
In 2020, after hearing no update about his wife and son, Ajay approached the Gujarat High Court and asked for the police to look for his family.
Officers were directed to search for the missing mother and son.
During the investigation, police found out that the Indian wife was planning to get remarried to a man from Rajkot. When they received this information, police located her whereabouts and arrested her.
Police also discovered that Jayashree had sold her son to a couple in Mumbai because “he was an obstacle” in her plans to get married for a second time.