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August 10, 2009

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Boy 'abandoned' at mall

A four-year-old boy was sent to a charity child-care organization yesterday after he was allegedly abandoned by his mother, Luwan District police said.

The boy was discovered by a security guard standing alone beside the escalator in Parkson Shopping Mall on Huaihai Road M. about 11am yesterday. The boy said his mother told him to wait there while she went shopping but she never came back.

Shopping center staff tried to contact the mother over the center's public announcement system but got no response.

The boy claimed his mother, a Hebei Province native, was in a bad relationship with his Australian native father. They had separated after increasing arguments and the boy had not seen his father for days.

The only information the boy knows about his family is his mother's cell phone number.

But the receiver hung up repeatedly when the number was called yesterday.

Shopping center staff handed the boy to police after hours of waiting. After trying unsuccessfully to contact the boy's mother, officers from the Ruijin No.2 Road police station sent the boy to a child-care center of the civil affairs department for temporary shelter.

Parents who abandon their children face a maximum penalty of five years' jail.


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