POLICE in southwest China's Yunnan Province have rescued 31abducted infants and arrested 76 suspects in a bust of amulti-provincial human trafficking gang. The tightly knit child abduction ring spent 8,000 yuan (US$1,266)to 10,000 yuan purchasing an infant in rural areas of Yunnan andsold them at 20,000 yuan to 50,000 yuan each in Hebei and Shandongprovinces. It could conduct one "trade" - abducting, purchasing, transportingand selling the infants to adoptive families - in three days, saidWang Ansi, a railway police official in Kunming, capital of Yunnan. Officers in Kunming apprehended an infant trafficker surnamed Chen,34, a native of the province's Zhaotong City, in a railway stationin May last year. |
That led them to other ring members, theprovincial news portal (yunnan.cn) reported yesterday. Chen gave away her involvement because she was nervous and couldn'tprovide information on the baby when police came to question her,authorities said. She confessed that she spent 10,000 yuan on the baby and attemptedto sell it in Hebei, police said. In November, Kunming railway police launched a crackdown on trainsand at stations, nabbing five Zhaotong natives and rescuing fourbaby girls.
The suspects told police they bought infants from awoman identified as Sister Liu in Yunnan's Wenshan prefecture. Withthe help of Wenshan police, Kunming police identified Sister Liu.The 42-year-old Wenshan native, her husband, and other three familymembers all engaged in the illegal business, police said. Another four family-style child trafficking rings also were found.To boost profits, the five families collaborated, the report said. Between February and March, 11 suspects carrying 10 children werecaught, and that led to another six traffickers in north China'sHebei Province, including a doctor surnamed Tian, police said.
Human trafficking problem They were arrested in Hebei's Handan and Xingtai cities prior toMarch 27 and helped police locate suspects in the neighboringShandong Province. Police raided the family rings in Wenshan in April and May, andrescued three babies. After interrogation, the suspects revealedanother four accomplices, all of the minority Miao ethnic group andliving in Yunnan. On May 7, police hunted down the four in Wenshan's Guangnan County.Between April 20 and May 15, police arrested another 34 suspects,including middlemen, in seven provinces, and saved 12 babies, thereport said. Human trafficking is a serious problem in China with many cases ofyoung women being kidnapped in poor southwestern regions and soldto rural families in faraway provinces over the past decade, policesay.
The women often are married off to desperate bachelors, whilebabies, preferably boys, are mostly sold to sterile couples notqualified to adopt children. Records show that police rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458women in busts of 3,195 trafficking gangs last year, according toXinhua news agency. Convicted human traffickers usually are sentenced to five to 10years in prison, and serious offenders may receive capitalpunishment. Greater efforts are being made to discourage would-be buyers.
"Rescued children will no longer be kept by families who have paidfor them, making buyers lose both the child and the money,"according to a statement on the ministry's website.
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