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China police detain 13 suspected child traffickers

China police detain 13 suspected child traffickers

Chinese authorities have detained 13 members of a gang suspected of kidnapping and selling children, sometimes swooping by on motorcycles and snatching them in broad daylight, a police official said Thursday.
Police from Yueyang, a city in the central province of Hunan, led an investigation across seven provinces that resulted in the arrests and the rescue of five children, a spokesman of the city's public security bureau said in a telephone interview. He would give only his surname, Qi, as is common with Chinese officials.
China has a thriving black market in girls and women who are sold as brides, as well as babies who are abducted or bought from poor families for sale to childless couples or those who have one child and want more.
Yueyang authorities were not sure how many children in total the group had abducted and sold, Qi said.
"Some were grabbed, and some were taken secretly," he said. He confirmed local media reports that said the group had sometimes snatched children off the street while driving by on motorcycles but did not give other details.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the five rescued children _ the last found on Saturday _ were between 2 and 3 years old, and included one girl. They had been taken from families of migrant workers, Xinhua said.
Police arrested Su Tonghua, 21, on Dec. 31 and his 12 accomplices were arrested last week, Xinhua said.
The Beijing News said the kidnappings occurred between September and December _ including a 3-year-old boy who was taken from the front door of his home while playing at midday and a 2-year-old girl grabbed in her sleep at a brick factory at night, the newspaper said.
The gang sold the children for between 860 yuan ($126) and 26,000 yuan ($3,800), the report said. Three of the rescued children have been returned to their families while authorities were trying to determine the identities of the remaining two.
An international human rights groups said two years ago that rural Chinese children are increasingly at risk of being sold or forced to become beggars, petty thieves or sex workers as their farmer parents flock to cities looking for work.
The government says that it has cracked down harshly on such cases, and that the trend is decreasing.


Updated : 2021-04-13 03:44 GMT+08:00