A newborn baby who fell into the hands of human traffickers has been returned to his parents, according to Chinese state media.

In a case which will raise fears about the potential existence of a trafficking network operating inside hospitals, a baby boy was snatched by a black market gang soon after being born in the north-western province of Shannxi.

China State Daily said the baby boy was sold for money in a deal between an obstetrician working at the unit and a gang, while his mother was still in hospital.

The gang reportedly paid 21,600 (around £2,300) to the medic, in Xi'an, last month. Then the lad vanished for three weeks, leaving the mother and father Lai Guofeng distraught.

Police mounted a search for the lad and he was eventually found in the neighbouring province of Henan. A police spokesman said the baby was in good condition.

DNA tests confirmed the baby was Lai's son and the family were reunited.

Obstetrician Zhang has been suspended and detained on suspicion of human trafficking.

It was the sixth case of its type at the Fuping County maternal and child healthcare hospital, currently being investigated by the police. Hospital chief Wang Li and two other top officials have been sacked.