Repatriation for women sold as wives

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 October, 1998, 12:00am

Three North Korean refugees abducted and sold as wives to mainland peasants have been repatriated, while a fourth is still missing.

The women were discovered living in Yuncheng county, Shandong province, by local police alerted by reports of peasants buying wives who spoke a language that no one could understand.

Officers raided villages and arrested one peasant, Zhang Zhanjiang. He admitted buying a woman for 4,800 yuan (HK$4,465) from a man called Zhai Zhongjun who had been trafficking refugees.

One peasant had demanded his money back after the North Korean woman he bought cried and ran away.

Zhai refused to give a refund and it was thought the woman had been resold, Writer's Digest reported.

The women were all in their late 20s.

One of the peasants looking to acquire a new wife was disabled, the report said.

Villagers in the county said it was so poor and backward women refused to live there.

Yuncheng has a history of incidents involving the abduction of women.

A postgraduate student was kidnapped and sold to a villager and there have been cases of Thai women ending up in the county.