After months of being traded by human traffickers, a Chinese baby boy who went missing in April in Fangchenggang is now back in the safe and loving arms of his grandmother.
The infant, state media reported, was passed around — or changed hands — five times in less than three months before he was returned to his grandmother in August.
According to South China Morning Post, authorities have arrested several suspects involved in the crime including the victim’s father.
The baby’s father, who is only identified by his surname Deng, reportedly sold the boy for 45,000 yuan (roughly $6,800) to an unnamed buyer. Deng’s ex-girlfriend, who is also the mother of the boy, became suspicious when the man failed to show the baby during a video call.
After following her suspicion, the mother contacted the police, which prompted an immediate investigation.
Authorities reportedly interviewed 15 people suspected of being involved in the crime, and eight have been put under police custody and are awaiting trial.
Before the baby landed in Guangdong province, he was passed and traded around several times like he was a piece of item. The kid eventually fell into the hands of a man who paid 100,000 yuan ($15,246) for the boy.
China is reportedly among one of the worst countries on human trafficking. Just last year, 36 children were rescued from a human trafficking ring in the country, Telegraph reported. It didn’t provide any specific details regarding the age of the children, but photos from a local television station revealed photos infants in their report.
According to state media, it is believed that 20,000 children are being victimized by human trafficking per year, and around 200,000 are reported missing.