Child abductors to die after losing appeal bid
The Higher People's Court of Hebei province yesterday rejected appeals lodged by 10 child abductors and upheld their death sentences, according to Xinhua's Web site.
The 10 - among a gang of 18 members - were earlier sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court in Handan city for human trafficking, murder and theft. The report identified three of the abductors who had received the death sentence - Qian Changxiong, Chen Shiwen and Liu Guxing.
The eight other members who received lesser sentences also lost their appeals. The report identified only one of them, Yu Xuede, who received a suspended death sentence, which is usually commuted to life imprisonment after two or three years. It did not give details of the others.
According to the report, the 18 were convicted of abducting and trafficking in 16 babies between June 2000 and April last year.
It said a baby girl died when she was abducted by Liu and Yu in April last year from her family in Wuan City. Of the other 15 babies, 10 had been rescued by police but five remained unaccounted for.
In one case, Xinhua said Qian, Chen and Yu abducted a baby boy from a coal-mining family in Wuan city in June 2000 and sold him for 9,000 yuan (HK$8,500).
Nine months later, the same gang - armed with knives and sticks - stormed into a village in Wuan and beat up the parents before seizing their two-year-old girl along with her new-born brother. The two infants were later sold for 15,000 yuan.
Human trafficking is a serious problem in rural areas, where traffickers abduct women and children and sell them on.