Mainland police rescued 89 abducted children and made 369 arrests in two crackdowns earlier this month, and broke up a cross-border gang that sold Vietnamese children to wealthy families in Guangdong.
Eight Vietnamese babies aged between three weeks and seven months were rescued by police from Guangdong and Guangxi on July 15, acting on a tip-off received by police in Guangxi. The traffickers were mostly Vietnamese residents who abducted children from Vietnam and for sale in the two southern regions.
Vietnamese babies are frequently smuggled to China by sea, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday. Eight Vietnamese who organised the trafficking and transported the children from Vietnam to Dongxing city in Guangxi were arrested, along with 31 Chinese collaborators who tried to sell the children to rich families in the eastern Guangdong cities of Shanwei and Jieyang .
Beijing News reported that the Vietnamese babies were fed sleeping pills before their journeys to avoid detection. Some buyers may not have been aware that their babies were actually from Vietnam.
Meanwhile, 81 mainland children were rescued and 330 suspects arrested when a child-kidnapping and trafficking ring was raided on July 20 in an operation involving 2,600 police from 14 provinces including Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Fujian . Some of the suspects said they sold kidnapped children for about 40,000 yuan (HK$48,400) each, making a profit of between 500 yuan and 5,000 yuan for each child.
Liu Ancheng, deputy director of the ministry's criminal investigation department, said the eight Vietnamese traffickers were so cautious that they often used flashlights rather than mobile phones to communicate when smuggling children by boats, and chose remote paths to avoid checkpoints.
Human trafficking is so rampant in the area that Yunnan province, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam signed a memorandum in 2004 to tackle the problem. According to the State Council's national working committee on children and women, several hundred Vietnamese women and children have been rescued in Guangxi since the autonomous region set up a liaison office with Vietnamese police in 2001. The ministry said that 14,610 children and 24,820 women had been rescued nationally since it launched an anti-human-trafficking campaign in 2009.
Liu said it was difficult for mainland police to investigate trafficking cases with Vietnamese colleagues due to legal and language barriers.
Chen Shiqu, director of the ministry's anti-human-trafficking office, said civil affairs authorities would take care of the rescued children in foster homes, rather than allowing them to stay with their adoptive parents, until their biological parents were found.
The number of arrests made in an anti-human-trafficking campaign since it was launched in April 2009, the Ministry of Public Security says