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October 24, 2012

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Man jailed for forcing blind trio to beg

A man who induced three blind men from central China's Henan Province to Shanghai and forced them to beg in downtown and Pudong New Area was sentenced to one and a half years in prison, the Pudong New Area People's Court said yesterday.

Prosecutors said the convict, surnamed Li, brought the three victims, aged 43, 58 and 68, from his hometown in Henan to Shanghai last November.

Li claimed he would introduce them to a disabled people's troupe where they could earn 500 yuan (US$80) per month performing Henan's local opera. The three victims didn't realize they had been had until Li forced them to beg on the streets and at local Metro stations.

One victim, surnamed Gao, told prosecutors that Li forced them to beg from 6am to 9pm every day and took all the money they collected.

From last November to this July, Gao used to beg on Longyang Road, Yaohua Road, Jinqiao Road and at downtown People's Square. He could get about 100 yuan daily, 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 more than six months, and had only five days of rest in total.

The victims had asked to go home, but Li upbraided them and also threatened to beat them.

Prosecutors said the case was the first of its kind in Shanghai but they didn't reveal details of how the victims were rescued.


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