A MOTHER faces up to ten years in jail after she sold her newborn baby to another woman for £69, Russian police have said.
Irina Volkova, 29, a carwash manager from Penza, western Russian, traded the child with a buyer she met online after she decided she did not want to keep the boy, detectives say.
The buyer, named only as Anna, 23, in local media, is married and claimed to be infertile when she concocted the scheme with Irina, who has two older kids.
Irina travelled from Penza to St Petersburg, which is a 15 hour car journey, to give birth in Anna’s home city.
The two women are suspected of carrying out a passport scam to fool medics into handing the baby to the buyer.
Vladimir Tsurkanu, of the Russian Investigative Committee, told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that the case is a disturbing example of the disturbing black market trading in babies.
He said: “Similar stories are taking place all around Russia. Police seek to block such attempts.
“But women are trying to give birth using someone else’s documents to fool the legal system for adoption.”
Police fear that children are also being traded by for sex crimes or body parts – although this was not the case this time.
Irina travelled to St Petersburg , where Anna lives, to give birth to the boy, Mr Tsurkanu said.
He said: “The pregnant woman took (Anna’s) passport and was admitted to hospital under the younger woman’s name.
“Doctors spotted that the woman and the passport photograph did not match and made a note about it.
“Next day after giving birth (Irina) left the maternity hospital without the baby.”
She handed back the internal passport – used by Russians as an ID document – to Anna who was detained when she went to the hospital to pick up the child.
Both women were detained on suspicion of “trading a minor”, said Mr Tsurkanu.
He said: “The birth mother was accused to selling her son. She pleaded guilty and repented.
The other woman also gave evidence. So far we have all the proof of the guilt of the women accomplices.”
A court said that the baby should be given up for adoption – so neither Irina or Anna will raise him.
The St Petersburg prosecutor’s office said: “Both accused women face up to ten years in jail.”