A young mother from China sold her newborn twins for $14,000 in order to pay off her credit card bills.

The two boys, less than 2 weeks old, were allegedly sold to two separate families who live more than 700km away from the mother's hometown in eastern China.

It is claimed the mother also purchased a new phone with her profits.

Following the horror sale, police arrested the mother and her partner before rescuing the babies, Cixi, Zhejiang Provence Police revealed on Friday.

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According to the police, the woman, known by her surname Ma, gave birth to her twin sons last September. The babies were said to be premature and had to be put into incubators immediately.

It is understood her partner and his parents refused to help raise the babies.

Ma then decided to sell her children to strangers.

Police said her partner Wu then appeared and demanded she use the profit to pay off his gambling debts, but Ma told him the money had been spent.

Cixi police received numerous leads over the sale of the babies, sending them on a hunt to find the two boys who were separated.

Both babies were soon found and the adoptive parents agreed to hand back the children after police explained the severity of the incident.

The twins were reunited and given to Ma's parents to look after.

People who are found guilty of child trafficking can be jailed for up to 10 years in China, while those who purchase trafficked children can also face punishment.

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