Indian police investigate claims of babies for sale in Tamil Nadu

Police are investigating a potential “cash for babies” ring in India after claims by a former nurse that she had been acquiring newborns for childless couples for decades.

An audio clip that has gone viral on social media purports to record a woman claiming she has 30 years of experience in "selling newborn" babies. Now health officials and police in the southern state of Tamil Nadu are investigating the claims. Tamil news channels said on Friday that a woman and her husband had been arrested.

In the clip, the woman identified as Amutha, a voluntarily retired nurse from a government hospital, can be heard apparently boasting to a potential customer about how actively she had been involved in the business over the years.

“I have been doing this business for 30 years. By God’s grace, I haven’t faced any problems. Pay me as much as you can as an advance, I will Whatsapp you the baby’s picture,” she says.

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She goes on to provide a catalogue of prices depending on gender, and skin tone.

“If you need a girl, then the price would be Rs 2.7 lakh (£2,980). If the baby is close to three kilos, then the price would go up to 3 lakh.” A lakh is 100,000.

She adds: “If you need an ‘Amul baby’ [a chubby, male baby with a fair complexion – named after a milk company’s logo], then the price would range from Rs 4 – 4.15 lakh.

“If the baby is darker, then the price may reduce to Rs 3.30 – 3.75 lakh.”

Amutha claims to be a middleman for such transactions between poorer families having children and wealthy couples. 

She said: “For an additional cost of Rs 70,000, I can get you the original birth certificate. 

“We can make as if the child was born to you here… The municipal authorities will forge the document and they will upload it online.”

After the clip went viral, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh asked the director of the Health and Rural Welfare department and the police to look into the claims.

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