Woman tries to sell her newborn son for £4,900 so she can pay for her mum’s care

Valentina Makukha, 24, from Ukraine, faces up to five years in jail for trying to sell her son

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A woman has been arrested after attempting to sell her newborn son on the black market for £4,900.

Valentina Makukha, 24, from Ukraine, faces up to five years in jail amid concerns the pandemic is leading to desperate mothers seeking to trade their children for cash.

Children’s rights campaigners heard about Makukha’s attempts to sell her baby via the web, and sought to stop her.

But she remained “adamant” and was unconcerned that the child could fall into the hands of unscrupulous traffickers, saying she needed money to care for her mother, said anti-slavery charity Alternativa.

Police quickly detained her shortly afterwards.

Earlier, Makukha was recorded boasting that she could find other babies to be sold to internet buyers.

Valentina Makukha, 24, from Ukraine, faces up to five years in jail

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“I have a doctor I know. He can help find children,” she told a person she believed to be a prospective buyer.

There would be no problems with “the product”, she said, meaning the newborn baby.

Mothers "gave birth without documents and the babies will not be missed”, she claimed.

In an earlier case, a woman cleaner named Chechena, 30, with three school age children, said she sold her baby son for £250 in Krasnoyarsk.

Police spokeswoman Daria Gribkova said: “She honestly admitted that she handed the baby over for money to a childless couple who she had met some time before.”

Valentina Makukha during the interrogation

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She used the money to buy clothes and sweets for her children.

In another case, Luiza Gadzhieva, 25, was detained after accepting £3,000 for her one week old daughter when law enforcement posed as buyers.

She claimed she urgently needed money struggling in the pandemic.

But “the child's mother discussed what boots she will buy for herself after selling the baby”, said Alternativa.

In a fourth case, an Uzbek mother and her husband sought to sell their child in Moscow.

Volunteers pass the baby to police

Oleg Melnikov, of Alternativa, said there is a rise in Russian women selling their children compared to previous years.

He said the women often blamed financial difficulties but “low moral standards” also accounted for their actions.

‘We know these kids have no chance to get legal documents,” he said.

“They will end up in the hands of beggars on the streets or paedophiles.

“There is no third option for them."