The story appears on

Page A8

October 23, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Hangzhou starts crackdown on beggar gangs

AUTHORITIES in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang Province, are offering cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of beggar gangs that employ children and handicapped people.

"Citizens who provide useful information will receive 200 yuan (US$29)," Chen Guomin, a social welfare official with the Hangzhou Municipal Civil Affairs Administration, said yesterday.

The administration began yesterday to solicit information from the public in an effort to crack down on the exploitation of children and the handicapped.

The campaign is being carried out in collaboration with the city's police and urban administration authorities.

Local newspapers reported last week that dozens of beggars had converged on downtown Hangzhou in the past three weeks. Most appeared in pairs of a handicapped "parent" or a child aged seven to 15, though they might not be related.

The Hongzhou-based Metropolitan Express said the beggars were likely organized. It quoted witnesses as saying that dozens of children and handicapped adults were living in two vans parked in an open space in Shangcheng District for more than two weeks. Their dialects indicated they were from different provinces.

"They begged at railway stations or in commercial streets during the day and went back to the vans after 9:30pm," it said. "The man who appeared to be in charge looked perfectly healthy."

The vans disappeared after the disclosure, but beggars were still frequenting Hangzhou's streets, said Chen. "We have to stop their organizers from exploiting children and the handicapped any further."

Handicapped people and minors are occasionally reported kidnapped or coerced into begging or committing crimes. Gang leaders have been known to injure the vulnerable so they are forced to beg for money.

"We'll try to save these people from being exploited, provide them with adequate aid and send them back home as soon as we can," Chen said.

About 3,000 children and women abduction cases are recorded and investigated by authorities annually, but some experts estimate that 10,000 to 20,000 women and children fall into the hands of kidnappers each year. Some of them are forced into begging.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend