A couple in India was arrested Monday after they attempted to sell their 5-month-old baby for nearly $1,300.

The duo lived in the western Indian state of Maharashtra with their six children. Police said the father, who worked as an auto-driver, was struggling to feed his children as he wasn't earning much due to the lockdown imposed in the country amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

A woman, who was helping the couple sell the baby, was arrested Saturday. The woman, identified as Mansi Jadhav, had worked for an adoption agency till 2018.

A team from the anti-human trafficking cell laid a trap to nab the woman when she came to sell the child to a police decoy, Inspector Ashok Kadlag told NDTV on Sunday. 

Police said the couple – identified as Pallavi and Sainath Bhoir – had their their sixth child earlier this year. 

"The couple has six children and they were having a tough time financially. So they decided to sell their newborn," senior police officer N Bankar told Mid-Day. 

"Our informer told us that Jadhav was bringing the child to Kalyan court to hand him over to a customer after a payment of 1.7 lakh INR ($2,335)," the officer added. Jadhav promised $1,300 to the couple and had planned to keep the rest of the money for herself.

Police said a civilian was sent as the customer and another person was present as the eyewitness. When Jadhav was receiving the payment after giving the baby to the eyewitness, police came and arrested her. 

Jadhav confessed to police this was not the first time she conducted such illegal adoptions. Authorities are trying to find out if she is part of a larger gang involved in sale of children.

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