A young Chinese mother has sold her newborn twin sons to pay off her credit card bills.
The boys, who were not even two weeks old at the time, were sold for 65,000 yuan (NZ$14,185) to two families. The strangers are said to be located more than 700 kilometres away from the mother's hometown in eastern China, the Daily Mail reports.
The mother, in her 20s, used the money to purchase a new phone and pay off her credit card bills.
- Human trafficking in NZ likely thanks to Chinese immigrants - expert
- Auckland mother jailed for turning daughter into sex slave
The woman and her partner have since been arrested. The case was revealed by Cixi police in Zhejiang Province on Saturday (NZ time).
Police say the woman, identified by her surname Ma, gave birth to the twins last September. The babies were said to be premature and had to be put into incubators.
The partner, identified by his surname Wu, didn't attend the birth and his parents refused to help Ma. Viewing the children as a burden, she decided to sell them to strangers, the Daily Mail reports.
One boy was reportedly sold for 45,000 yuan (NZ$9,826) while the other was sold for 20,000 (NZ$4,367).
Cixi police received leads on the case in July and formed two teams to locate each of the boys. One was found in Anhui Province while the other was discovered in Shandong Province.
Both adoptive families reportedly agreed to hand over the boys to police after realising the severity of the situation.
The boys have since been put in the care of Ma's parents.
Child trafficking in China carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Families who buy trafficked children can also face jail time.