Police have detained seven suspects for allegedly forcing 10 people, including seven teenagers, into “selling” their own blood in a county in northwestern China, police said on Sunday.
The suspects, from Wuwei in Gansu prefecture, were said to have “violently assaulted”, “threatened” and “deceived” the 10 victims into “selling” their blood 48 times at a local plasma collection centre between November 2013 to May 2014 – then kept the money themselves.
The 10,700 yuan from the sale of the blood had been “splurged” by the suspects, Wuwei police said.
Mainland donors should not receive any payment for giving blood.
The former deputy director of the plasma collection centre, identified only by his surname, Huang, was among the seven suspects.
Huang had commissioned one suspect, identified only as Zhang, to look for blood donors in return for money, police said.
Police told the China Youth Daily that earlier this year the plasma centre requested that every member of staff should find 30 new blood donors in return for earning a monthly bonus of 300 yuan (about HK$380).
The 10 victims were pressured into going to the plasma collection centre and given adults ID cards so they could be registered.
Local media reported earlier that the victims, mostly from local middle schools, were forced to go to the plasma centre twice a month and donate 600 cubic centimetres of blood each time.
Police said all the victims of the alleged crime were now in good health condition.
The alleged crime came to the attention of police when public security officers were investigating a robbery case.
Some of the suspects had allegedly robbed middle school students, which led to information about the illegal sale of blood, police said.
Wuwei police said on its website they had initially detained nine suspects, but one of them was underage and another had been freed on bail.
The case now has been sent to the local prosecutors’ office, police added.