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Baby-smuggling ring busted, 23 kids rescued

POLICE have cracked down on a cross-province infant-trafficking syndicate and rescued 23 toddlers.

A task force of more than 30 police officers from Wu°?chang Railway Public Security Bureau carried out an operation in Hebei Province, seizing 18 suspects, Wuhan Evening News reported yesterday.

According to the team's leader Tong Guangming, it was the biggest infant-trafficking case uncovered since China launched a campaign on April 9 clamping down on the abduction of women and children.

Officers from Wuchang railway police seized several infant traffickers during routine checks since late last month and suspected a syndicate was coordinating an operation to smuggle kids from Yunnan Province to northern China, the paper said.

Officer Wang Junfeng questioned a woman surnamed Zhao on May 31, when she was getting off a train from Kunming, Yunnan's capital, carrying hardly any luggage but accompanied by an infant.

Zhao later confessed that she had spent 6,000 yuan (US$878) buying the 50-day-old baby girl from Yunnan and wanted to sell her in Hebei.

Two days later, officers stopped two suspected traffickers at the railway station and saved a male infant who was only 15 days old.

Five other suspects were seized in the next few days.

After questioning the suspects, Tong and his teammates went to Hebei on June 11, which led to the release of 23 toddlers.

The task force said they are still questioning suspects and believe there are a dozen abducted infants still waiting to be saved.


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