More kidnappings in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 March, 2010, 12:00am

The problem of child kidnappings in Shenzhen appears to be worse than officials have led the public to believe.

Two kidnappers were executed last week. Three others were sentenced to death or life in prison.

They were among eight people on trial in four kidnapping cases, which had not been publicised when they happened. Parents say the police had failed to warn them of the dangers their children face.

Many of the kidnappers knew the parents of their victims. The parents had trusted them. The kidnappers had either dragged the children - aged between six and 13 - into vans outside their schools or lured them into homes.

In the latest sentencing, kidnapper Kong Jinling was sentenced to death and his two brothers-in-law went to prison. They had kidnapped the 11-year-old son of a village neighbour in November. The boy was snatched outside his school and his body was found the following day. The parents had agreed to pay part of the ransom Kong demanded.

The boy's father was not satisfied with the sentences, saying the three-year jail term one of the kidnappers was given was too light. He almost blamed the police, saying they had not warned parents of the dangers.

One of the executed criminals, Xu Qinigxi, kidnapped and murdered a 13-year-old boy in 2008. Xu had worked as the boy's tutor.

He had demanded a 1 million yuan (HK$1.13 million) ransom.

Shenzhen police also announced they had arrested 17 people involved in trying to cheat families out of money. They claimed that the family's children had been kidnapped.