The Tamil Nadu Police on Saturday said they have arrested the special tehsildar of Thoothukudi and his wife for allegedly bribing three men in Bengaluru to abduct an 11-month-old girl. The men kidnapped the baby from her labourer parents on Wednesday with the intention of selling it to the tehsildar, Thomas Pius Arul, and his wife, G Aruna Pius, for Rs 2 lakh, The Hindu reported.

The three men – Anbu Kumar, 43, D Yogesh Kumar, 21, and Manjunath, 19 – have also been arrested, the police said. “Anbu Kumar, a local businessman, was acquainted with Arul, who asked him to get him a child,” a police officer said. “Arul told Anbu that he had no children and wanted to adopt one.”

Anbu Kumar and his associates Yogesh Kumar and Manjunath approached a labourer couple asking them if they were ready to give up their baby for adoption. However, the couple refused. The three accused then abducted the baby when her parents were away on Wednesday evening, the police said.

The child’s mother, Rani, filed a police complaint after a neighbour saw the three fleeing with the baby and alerted her parents. A police team led by Inspector V Shiva Reddy traced the accused to Omalur in Salem district, from where they intended to travel to Thoothukudi.

“Anbu and his associates had been given a part of the money as an advance by Arul, who had promised to hand over the rest after getting the baby,” a senior police officer said. The special tehsildar and his wife were arrested on Thursday.

The police said Arul claimed the couple wanted to adopt a child as they had none of their own. They added that a team has been sent to Thoothukudi to verify the claim.