'Babies for sale' ad prompts Indonesian investigation

'Babies for sale' ad prompts Indonesian investigation

'Babies for sale' ad prompts Indonesian investigation

Updated 9 January 2013, 7:51 AEST

There are mounting calls for Indonesian officials to stop child-trafficking syndicates, after an advertisement was posted online offering two babies for sale.

There are mounting calls for Indonesian officials to stop child-trafficking syndicates, after an advertisement was posted online offering two babies for sale.

The classified, which appeared on the popular Indonesian shopping website Toko Bagus, offered two 18-month-old babies for 10 million rupiah, or about $1,000 each.

Police are investigating whether it is a case of attempting to traffic children.

Reporters from a local TV station who posed as potential buyers found the man named in the ad. But the man said he had no babies or knowledge of the classified.

Nevertheless, it has prompted calls for a crackdown on child trafficking.

The secretary of Indonesia's child protection commission, Muhammad Ihsan, says trafficking is big business in the country.

He says there have been at least 270 reports of missing babies or toddlers since 2010 and it is suspected they were trafficked.

He says sometimes babies are abducted and sold, but there are also cases where extremely poor Indonesian families are persuaded to sell their children.