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August 14, 2012

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Man forces blind to beg, takes their cash

A MAN has been arrested for inducing three blind people from central China's Henan Province to Shanghai and forcing them to beg downtown and in the Pudong New Area, the first case of its kind in Shanghai, local prosecutors said yesterday.

The suspect, surnamed Li, brought the three victims, surnamed Gao, Shen and Wang, aged 43, 58 and 68, respectively, from his hometown in Henan to Shanghai in November.

Li claimed he would take them to a troupe where they could earn 500 yuan (US$78.56) per month performing Henan's local opera.

The three victims were taken in and followed Li to the city. Li arranged them to live in a rented apartment in Pudong but he didn't introduce them to the troupe as promised.

Instead, Li forced them to beg on the streets and at Metro stations from 6am to 9pm every day. At 9pm, Li would take them back to the apartment and took all the money they had collected.

Gao told prosecutors that from November 2011 to this July, he used to beg on Longyang Road, Yaohua Road, Jinqiao Road and at People's Square. Li took him to these places in the morning and gave him some buns as lunch. He could get about 100 yuan from begging every day, all handed to Li.

Gao said Li gave them only one day off every five weeks, and they had to beg even on rainy days. Prosecutors said Gao begged for six months and half, and had only five days rest in total.

Shen and Wang said they could not stand such a life and asked to go home, but Li scolded them and also threatened to beat them.


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