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China: Around The Nation

Chinese kidnappers who held boy for nine months are jailed

Married couple had tried to raise child as their own son

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 5:20pm

Two men and a woman in southern China have been jailed for their part in abducting a five-year-old boy whom they kept captive for nine months, local media reported.

The kidnapping was masterminded by a man surnamed Ou, who had a grievance against the mother of the boy.

Ou persuaded his accomplices, a married couple, to abduct the child one morning in May last year, Guangzhou Daily reported, citing the court hearing on Friday.

Ou had been angry because his wife had left him and he blamed the mother, who was a close friend of his wife, for encouraging her to do so.

The two suspects – a man named Chen and woman named Li – went round to the boy’s house in Qingyuan, Guangdong province, and found him alone with his seven-year-old sister.

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They invited the boy to come with them to buy snacks and abducted him.

The report said the couple had initially agreed to hand the boy over to Ou, but because they were childless decided to raise him as their own son.

The boy’s disappearance prompted a flurry of attention on social media as his parents appealed for information, but his whereabouts remained a mystery until Chen took him out to play and he was spotted by his father.

The boy passed his father and his aunt, who were out shopping, in a public square. The aunt noticed that the boy was staring at them and then drew the father’s attention to the child.

Chen tried to run away when the father called the police but they caught him and later tracked down his accomplices.

Chen and Li were sentenced to two and three years in jail respectively and Ou was jailed for six years for his part in the kidnapping.