Chennai: An ex-nurse who had worked at a government hospital in Tamil Nadu was arrested along with her husband in Rasipuram on Thursday for allegedly trying to sell babies, stated a report. The ex-nurse, identified as Amuthavalli, and her husband Ravichandran were arrested after police found a purported audio tape wherein Amuthavalli is heard communicating the rates at which the babies are available for sale to a prospective buyer.

A report by a leading daily quoted Amuthavalli as saying, “The rate depends upon colour and complexion as well as sharp features of a baby as well as whether it is a male or female. If it is male, the rate would be as high as Rs 4.25 lakh, and for a female, Rs 2.70 lakh.” Amuthavalli reportedly added that the selling price of the baby will go higher if the features of the baby are sharp. She added that the buyer must pay an advance amount which is not lesser than Rs 30,000 and that the rest of the payment can be made once the baby is sold.

Soon after the purported audio tape went viral on social media, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh ordered an inquiry in the case. Namakkal District Social Welfare Joint Director Usha filed a complaint in this regard and soon suspects Amuthavalli and Ravichandran were arrested.

Upon initial investigation, Amuthavalli told the police that she was conducting the adoption procedure through the legal norms. However, she later agreed to commit the practice illegally with the help of some of the hospital staffs.