A new-born baby boy in India was reportedly sold via social media website Facebook for $15,000, after his grandfather told his daughter she had given birth to a stillborn child, Indian authorities say.

The incident allegedly took place on April 10 in the rural area of Basti Jodhewal on the outskirts of Ludhiana city in northern India's Punjab state.

The grandfather, Firoz Khan, is believed to have sold the baby to a a hospital nurse and a fellow employee for $850, who in turn sold the infant to a middleman for $6,450.

The middleman who who then put the baby's picture on Facebook apparently struck a deal with a New Delhi-based businessman for a sum of $15,000.

Twenty-year-old Noori Khan complained her baby had gone missing after suspecting her father's sudden new wealth, according to media reports.

A police investigation found that the infant had been trafficked and sold to a couple in New Delhi and police have arrested the grandfather, the two hospital staff and a friend of the grandfather suspected to be involved in the trafficking.

Noori Khan, who is still recuperating from the birth, said while she had been led to believe by her father that her baby was stillborn, a doubt lingered in her mind.

The grandfather reportedly told authorities he wanted to get his daughter married for a second time after she was abandoned by her husband, but that it would have been difficult for her if she had a baby.

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