baby feet
Man trapped by Israeli undercover police for allegedly trying to sell his daughterChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

A man in Israel has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell his three-month-old baby girl so he could clear off his gambling debts. The man was arrested after he tried to sell the baby to an undercover police officer for 100,000 shekels (£18,000), police said.

The father of the child, however, claimed he would never have sold his daughter and that it was just a scam to make some quick money so he could pay off his debts.

An investigation was launched after police received a tip-off about the man's move to sell the baby, police said. The undercover police officer met the man several times before he made an offer to sell the baby. The man, who is in his 30s, was arrested after he handed over his daughter to the officer. The man told the officer that another family had already made an offer for the baby. The child has now been placed in the custody of city welfare authorities.

The 27-year-old mother of the child has been placed under house arrest as police are trying to figure out if she had any role in the scheme. The Jerusalem Magistrate Court has granted the police seven-day custody of the man.

Police have withheld the identities of the man and his wife who are residents of Jerusalem.