A mum has lost custody of her two-month-old baby after leaving the child at a drug den as a 'guarantee' she would come back and pay her debt.
Footage shows how police rescued the infant who had been left by their mother in the Brazilian municipality of Pontes e Lacerda on Tuesday.
The baby's 28-year-old mother is a drug user and left the newborn in the drug den.
When police arrived, the child was under the care of two women.
They denied the infant had been left with them as a 'guarantee', telling officers the mum had merely asked them to look after the newborn for a while, according to police.
Both women and the baby's mum have criminal records for drug trafficking, officials say.
Police took the baby to a local child care institution. They also opened a criminal case against the mother for delivering a child to a third party in return for payment or a reward.
"In this repulsive situation, the baby's mother handed it over to a drug house as a guarantee that she would return to pay," police chief Bruna Caroline Laet said.
"The child was, in a way, payment for the drugs she bought. In the inquiry, we will investigate the conduct of the mother and of the people who received the baby as payment."
A court had actually revoked the woman's custody of her baby the day before the rescue on Monday, following previous evidence of negligence.
The woman has reportedly been a drug user for five years and has three other children, none of whom are under her care.
Two of her three other children are under the care of people unrelated to her and the other is in a shelter.
The woman also had another child who died at the age of two.
Authorities also learnt she had been frequenting drug dens with her newborn and had also left it in the care of her mother, who has heart problems and is therefore also not suited to caring for the child.
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