A baby in Brazil has been offered for sale for £267 (about N68,000) on a website because the parent claims it will not them sleep.
Brazilian police have launched an investigation into the advert, which was posted on Tuesday on the OLX classified website.
The advert features a baby of only a few months old dressed in a blue outfit, alongside the caption: ‘Cries a lot and did not let me sleep and I have to work to survive.’
The author, who does not disclose whether they are a man or a woman, provides a contact name and number for the city of Aparecida de Goiânia in the central state of Goias.
The advert was active for more than 12 hours on the site before the company withdrew it for breaching the terms and conditions by advertising ‘inappropriate content’.
Police Child Protection officer, Marcela Orçai, from Aparecida de Goiânia, said they are trying to track down the person who posted the advert.
The officer added that records from OLX indicted that a sale had not taken place.
The child was advertised under the Babies and Children’s section.
‘We are trying to locate the person who posted the advert. We believe that the individual may live in the Campos Eliseos neighbourhood of the city but the address given does not exist. Also the phone number listed has no connection with the case,’ Orçai explained.
The officer warned that police would make the culprit ‘answerable for their actions.’
OLX classified website is the largest consumer trading website in the world with a presence in some 107 countries. Each month the company reports that it receives more than 100 million users buying and selling goods and services on its free classified site.
Police said the advertiser has offended whether they actually meant to sell the baby or not.
Orçai said it was an offence to publish the baby’s image and use the telephone number of another person ‘fraudulently’.
Digital law expert Rafael Maciel told O Globo the offence committed was negotiating the sale of a life.
He said: ‘If the person is the parent of the child then they can be charged under Brazil’s Children and Adolescents Act for publishing the image improperly. The crime carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
‘However, if that person isn’t linked to the child and has advertised the child without the parents’ consent, it is an even more serious offence of defamation and they can be jailed for up to three years.’
Maciel said that it is precisely for this reason that the culprit should be prosecuted.