A Jerusalem resident in his 30s was collared by an undercover police officer on Thursday after trying to sell his 3-month-old baby girl for NIS 100,000 ($25,700) to cover gambling debts, police said.
The man and his wife, 27, were placed under arrest.
The baby was handed over to Jerusalem municipal welfare workers and the man’s detention was extended for a week. The woman is to be granted conditional release after the investigation ends.
A police spokeswoman said that after receiving a tip-off about the man, and with permission of the Jerusalem district attorney’s office, the force put an undercover officer onto the case. The officer met with the man several times.
During the meetings, the man tried to speed up a deal by saying that another family was interested — a claim that was not true, the spokeswoman added.
On Wednesday, the man came to a meeting with the baby, hoping to secure a cash advance. He was arrested the moment he handed the baby over, and his wife was arrested after that.
An investigation of the two for suspected human trafficking is under way at the capital’s central police station interrogation division.