Dozens rescued in swoops on child-trafficking gangs

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 March, 2012, 12:00am


Mainland police busted three child-trafficking groups spanning 14 provinces in raids on Wednesday morning, rescuing 77 children and arresting more than 300 suspects, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.

More than 7,000 police officers from 14 provinces, including Shandong, Guizhou, Henan, Shanxi, Yunnan and Guangxi, had taken part in a joint operation under the ministry's instruction and arrested 310 people involved in three massive child-trafficking networks, a report posted on the ministry's website said.

All three child-trafficking groups were operated by family members, with some even selling their own children, the report said. One woman forced her 26-year-old daughter to sell her five-day-old baby girl for 23,000 yuan on Tuesday.

The unemployed daughter said her boyfriend had left her when he found out she was pregnant and both she and her mother regretted their wrongdoing. She asked police to help her retrieve the infant, the report said.

Most of the children kidnapped were newborn babies between a few days and a month old, it said. In Shanxi's Huairen county, a baby boy could be sold for up to 35,000 yuan, while a baby girl fetched a lower price. The traffickers earned at least 1,000 yuan from each deal, the ministry said.

It said that a doctor who ran an obstetrics clinic in Datong, Shanxi, notified traffickers when she became aware that patients wanted to sell their babies. The parents received between 10,000 yuan and 50,000 yuan, the report said, adding that the doctor made up to 2,000 yuan per trade, charging both sides involved in the transaction.

Police rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 kidnapped women last year while busting 3,195 trafficking gangs.

Professor Ai Xiaoming, a specialist in the welfare of children and women at Sun Yat-sen University, attacked an 'overly harsh' adoption law on the mainland.

'Lack of respect for human life and our unfair system push poor people to take the risk of making a profit by taking part in human trafficking,' Ai said.