Gang busted for trafficking women to Congo
Police busted a prostitution gang that kidnapped women from remote counties in the south of the mainland before taking them to Congo, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.
It said on its website that an investigation team, made up of police from Sichuan , Guangxi and Fujian provinces and spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Security, saved 15 Chinese women and detained two suspects in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday.
Police in Sichuan's Xuyong county received reports in May that several local women were trafficked to Congo for prostitution, it said.
An investigation by police in Luzhou , the city with jurisdiction over Xuyong, found three suspects, all Chinese, had smuggled women from the mainland to Congo several times and forced them into prostitution in clubs in Kinshasa.
Two of the suspects were returned under escort to China on Thursday and the other was still on the run, the ministry said.
A Luzhou public security bureau spokesman said it was the city's first case of women being trafficked across borders. 'There has been no such thing before,' he said.
A consul at the Chinese embassy in Kinshasa said prostitutes trafficked from China were common in the resource-rich central African country, implying that their clients were usually Chinese. 'The number of Chinese immigrants in [Congo] has been rising fast in recent years. Most have come to do business,' she said.
The Ministry of Commerce Guide to Foreign Investment and Co-operation lists mining as the most important sector for Chinese investors, with copper, cobalt, diamonds and crude oil the top four resources.
In a post at africawindows.com, a website providing travel and business information in Africa, a Chongqing businessman wrote that thousands of Chinese had been working in Congo's thriving copper mining industry in the past few years. And now it was not just the mining industry attracting Chinese.
'Locals are very poor but the gold rushers are really rich,' he wrote. 'Chinese who run small businesses, such as small grocery stores or second-hand mobile phone stores, make several hundred thousand yuan a year, let alone those who are employed by Chinese companies that have big projects here.'