Beggar borrows womans baby and paints them silver to imitate statue on street

A mum let a beggar paint her baby silver and cradle the infant on the street in an attempt to lure cash from passersby.

The mum was allegedly given money by the beggar to buy 'nappies and milk' in exchange for her baby.

Indonesia's authorities caught onto the child exploitation after a photo of the silver beggar and baby was shared on social media.

Social services swooped in to care for the ten-month-old child as police arrested its mother in South Tangerang, two hours south of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Wahyunoto Lukman, head of the South Tangerang social services department, said: "We followed up the incident after a photo of the baby went viral on social media.

"The mother and child were picked up by the ministry and they will intervene and help them."

"Whatever the reason for begging, this is child exploitation… we will assess the situation and see whether the child's parents need to be equipped with skills so they can find better work or if they need help in the form of groceries," he added.

Mail Online reports that the mum was given the equivalent of just £1 (20,000 rupiah) to rent out her baby as a prop.

The amount of 'silver people' on Indonesia's streets has shot up in recent months with beggars mimicking statues and approaching motorists at junctions.

Jakarta's social welfare agency said the pandemic slashing jobs has forced struggling people to find alternate ways to raise money.

A popular resolution has seen teenagers in particular painting themselves silver and taking to pavements and roads, with a cardboard box each to collect public donations.

The metallic coating is made from a dangerous concoction of screen printing powder and kerosene, which can only be washed off by detergent or dishwashing soap, Mail Online reports.

The chemicals in the paint can cause rashes, itching, and skin infections.

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According to reports, the rise in begging comes on the back of coronavirus killing tens of thousands of breadwinners across the country.

Children's Protection Commissioner Rita Pranawati urged the public to report child beggars, especially those who are put in 'harmful positions'.

She told The Australian: "Putting children out on the streets is damaging to their health and psychology,'

"We need to help each other to keep children out of harm's way … so if you see this in your area, you must report it to local authorities."

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