The West Jakarta Police have named a mother who sold her own baby as a suspect in a baby trafficking network case.
The mother, named Monalisa, told the police that she sold her baby for Rp 4 million ($413) to a woman, identified as Tati — a woman who was arrested by the police for her involvement in a baby trafficking network that was uncovered last month.
Monalisa claimed that she agreed to sell her baby to Tati as she did not have the money to pay for her delivery, as reported by Tempo.co. Monalisa told the police that she did not have any other option but to give up her baby.
Adj. Comr. Marson Marbun, the chief detective at the West Jakarta Police, said on Thursday that Monalisa did not realize that Tati would sell her baby. She allegedly only wanted Tati to take care of her baby temporarily until she could get the money to pay her back as her husband was away.
Monalisa said when she met with Tati to ask for her baby back when she had the money, Tati said the baby had already been sold.
Marson said that Monalisa had been named a suspect because she had used the money she had received from Tati.
“But we have not detained the mother of the baby [Monalisa],” Marson said as quoted by Tempo.co. “She is only obliged to regularly report to police.”
The police are still looking for another mother who allegedly sold her baby, Hanif, to Tati for Rp 2.5 million. Tati sold the baby to a woman named Linda who later refused to adopt Hanif because he was ill.
Tati allegedly tried to return the baby boy back to the mother but she refused to take her son back. Tati decided to give Hanif away to another woman.
The police uncovered the baby trafficking network, that was allegedly working with other networks to sell the babies overseas, working from an office in West Jakarta last month. West Jakarta Police arrested seven people who were allegedly members of the baby trafficking network on Jan. 9. The suspects included a former midwife, a traditional midwife and housewives who acted as brokers.
Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, the Jakarta Police spokesman, said on Thursday that the network could have possibly sold dozens of babies as the syndicate had been operating since 1992.
Babies were sold between Rp 7 million to Rp 40 million to the local market and up to Rp 80 million to the foreign market.