Human trafficking targeted

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 April, 2000, 12:00am

Police will today launch a three-month crackdown on human trafficking, the semi-official China News Service said.

The crime is rampant in rural areas where traffickers abduct women and children and sell them to families in provinces such as Guangdong, Fujian and Anhui.

Police decided to launch the campaign amid concern over the soaring number of victims and increasing media exposure, the news agency said.

A police source told the agency that the Government would focus attention on the buyers.

'The buyers are going to receive even harsher punishment than the human traffickers,' an official quoted by the agency said.

'The move is to deal a blow to the market and fight the crime from its source.' Meanwhile, police put up posters around Beijing yesterday urging human traffickers and buyers to turn themselves in.

In recent years, traffickers have become more organised and interconnected, forming networks spanning provinces, the agency said.

Last year, police rescued more than 9,000 children and women from the hands of 1,640 human trafficking syndicates.

In Shanxi province, police recently rescued more than 60 babies from human traffickers.

Eight human traffickers were arrested in Jiangsu province during a recent police operation.

In Jiangxi, a grandfather whose four-year-old grandson was abducted a year ago wrote a letter to the Government urging the authorities to redouble their efforts to stop the human trade.

The agency said although the grandfather had spent more than 31,000 yuan (HK$28,000) on his search, making public appeals on television and posting thousands of leaflets, he had yet to find his grandson.