PUBLISHED: 11:34 EST, 2 November 2012 | UPDATED: 11:36 EST, 2 November 2012
A mother has been arrested after trying to sell her eight-month-old daughter for £600 GBP in Volgograd, Russia.
The 24-year-old Uzbekistani woman, identified as Nora Ochnev, told investigators that she needed the money to pay off a loan she’d taken out from her abusive employer.
Ochnev tried to sell her baby daughter to a neighbouring woman who promptly alerted police.
Officers arrived and secretly watched the young mother hand over her eight-month old to the neighbour. They then swooped in and arrested Ochnev.
The 24-year-old told police she needed £400 to pay back the debt to her employer at the farm where she was working and a further £200 to travel back home to Uzbekistan.
She alleged that her employer had treated her like a slave, making her work to repay the debt but, because the money was so low after he took out board and lodging, she had little or no hope of even paying the interest back.
She told police that he had taken her passport as security against her running away.
She said: ‘I was desperate. I just had no other choice. I had to pay back the loan. My daughter was the only asset I had.
‘It was my last resort. I was scared. I was being held against my will at a farm in the middle of nowhere. I was treated badly as well and I felt it was best for my daughter as well.
Police in Volgograd have detained Ochnev and put her baby in care until a final decision can be made on the child’s future.
The Uzbekistani native had travelled to the region looking for work and said she had been foolish to accept cash from her employer in advance.
She said that she had sent the money back home to her family.
A police officer said: ‘She was caught red handed, trying to sell her baby daughter. We are also investigating the farm owner for illegally taking the woman’s passport.’
Police are now also trying to track down the father of the baby who may be able to take over custody.
Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is about 900 km southeast of Moscow.
Polish mother arrested for ‘killing at least five of her newborn babies’
A Polish woman has been arrested on suspicion of killing at least five of her newborn babies, a prosecutor said Friday.
The suspect, identified only as 41-year-old Beata Z., has been questioned and will be held for at least three months during an investigation, said Maria Kudyba, a prosecutor in Lomza in northeastern Poland.
Kudyba said the widowed woman gave birth to eight babies between 1998 and 2012, but only two remain alive.
Four bodies of babies have been found on the woman’s farm in Hipolitowo village.
Investigators are searching for a fifth body and trying to determine the fate of the sixth baby.
Autopsies will be carried out to confirm that Beata Z. is their mother, and she will undergo psychiatric examination.
Social workers alerted police this summer when they saw no baby born after Beata Z. appeared to have been pregnant.
Investigators refused to speculate about possible motives in the case, which has been widely covered by the Polish media.
Poland, which is predominantly Catholic, has a strict anti-abortion law that allows the termination of a pregnancy only if it threatens the life of the mother, the fetus is irreparably damaged, or the pregnancy resulted from a crime.