A seven-month-old baby girl from Paraguay was returned to her teenage mother on Wednesday after police busted a criminal ring that abducted and trafficked children, officials said.
Lis Sebastiana’s 19-year-old mother, identified only as Sandra, arrived in Argentina back in September with a promise from members of the ring for work in the capital.
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, however, Sandra was taken to a clinic for a medical examination where she was told her then-two-month-old baby had asthma and needed urgent hospital care - at which point her child was taken away.
The baby was provided a faked birth certificate by the ring to show an Argentine birth for the family that bought her, police said. It was unclear whether she was sold outright or a fee was paid for a bogus adoption.
Sandra was able to later escape the care of the gang members and file a missing report.
The ring bust saw the arrest of four Argentines and one Paraguayan, with two fugitives in the gang still at large, police said.
Authorities handed Lis Sebastiana back to her mother after a DNA test to confirm her identity.