Photo: iStock.
Photo: iStock.

A child-trafficking ring that used Instagram to offer babies for sale was broken up by police in Indonesia in October.

East Java police spokesperson Frans Barung Mangera said a total of four people were arrested in Surabaya City, AFP reported.

The four included the Instagram account operator, a 22-year-old mother, plus a midwife and a potential buyer reportedly from Bali.

According to the police, investigations began when authorities found suspicious social media posts that offered adoption services for women who are pregnant or have given birth to babies borne out of wedlock.

Chief of Surabaya City’s Police Criminal Investigations Sudamiran said the mother wanted to sell her baby because she was in debt, and the baby was set to be sold for 15 million Rupiahs (US$990).

The mother confessed to the police that the baby was the outcome of an affair. In addition, the man who ran the Instagram page was believed to have taken a cut of 2.5 million rupiah (US$170).

Given its Muslim-dominated population, giving birth out of wedlock is something frowned upon in Indonesia, given the prohibition of sex before marriage or extramarital affairs in the religion.