Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And when it involves Facebook, the truth is often even stranger: Reportedly five people have been arrested in India in connection to the Facebook sale of a baby — including the boy’s grandfather.
Ferox Khan, 47, kicked off a bizarre string of events when his daughter gave birth in a Ludhiana hospital. He lied to her about the baby being stillborn, and then kidnapped the newborn to fulfill a sale to one of the nurses. The nurse sold him to a lab assistant who, in turn, attempted to flip the sale by posting it on Facebook. A New Delhi businessman answered the ad and purchased the baby, who was ultimately found by authorities in the businessman’s home.
Khan initially sold his grandson to the nurse for $830. The lab assistant bought the baby from the nurse for about $5,500, and then re-sold him for roughly $15,000 to the businessman.
Kidnapping and human trafficking was already a real and serious problem in many parts of the world, and that was even before online tools came along to enable the process. But fortunately, those same tools can also be used to help zero in on the perpetrators. Now that India has seen its first reported case of child trafficking over a social network, the police are anxious to pursue the investigation even further. They expect more details to come to light once they question the middle-man who executed the online sale.
As for Khan’s grandson, he was returned safely to his mother.