A Romanian mother and a Spanish couple have been arrested over the alleged sale of a baby boy who had apparently died but was found alive in Cardiff Bay.
The mother, 19, is suspected of trying to sell the now six-week-old newborn to the 25-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both of whom live in Cardiff, for up to £11,000. The arrested man was reportedly named on a registration form as the father of the child. DNA tests are now being carried out to establish the child's paternity after the mother claimed that she had fallen pregnant following a one-night stand with the man.
Spanish police began inquiries after the mother allegedly told police that the child, who was reportedly born in Zamora in northern Spain last month, had died when he was 15 days old following an emergency operation in Wales.Officers suspect the couple paid the woman - who lived in Spain until the birth of her child - between £2,200 and £11,000 to keep the baby.
She is understood to have travelled to Britain after being quizzed by Spanish police and confessing her child was 'with friends' at an address in Cardiff.
The trio were subsequently arrested in Cardiff. The boy, who was found at a property, is now in local authority care while a court in Zamora awaits DNA tests.
Meanwhile, a Spanish government spokesman ruled out suggestions that the suspects might be part of a bigger child trafficking network.
Jerenimo Garcia Bermejo, a central government spokesman for the Zamora region, also admitted that authorities were unsure whether the case involved an alleged illegal baby sale or an illegal adoption.
A spokesman for Spain’s National Police said: 'The investigation began when the mother of a baby had told a police officer her 15-day-old son, who had a wound in a vein, had died in the UK during an emergency operation.
'Police doubted the version of events the mother gave and began trying to clarify what had happened.
'They managed to find out where the child was as well as the other people allegedly involved in its sale who could have obtained between 3,000 and 15,000 euros (£2,200 and £11,000) for trafficking the baby.
'Investigators sought the cooperation of British police who managed to find the baby in Cardiff Bay.
'The 19-year-old Romanian mother was arrested along with a Spanish man and woman.'