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Police cripple gang kidnapping children for sale

POLICE in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, announced yesterday that they have broken up a 10-member gang that abducted children and sold them in distant places.

A police officer surnamed Wu with the Kaiping public security bureau said they have arrested all gang members and rescued 11 children sold by the gang to several cities in Guangdong and Fujian provinces.

The children, all boys aged between 3 and 8, have been sent back to their homes. Six of them were abducted in Kaiping, which is administrated by Jiangmen, between July and January, Wu said.

He said the principal of the gang is a 35-year-old woman named Zhang Weizhu, wanted under a Class A warrant issued by the Ministry of Public Security.

Under the Class A warrant, the ministry not only uses its nationwide resources to trace suspects, but also offers a reward of more than 50,000 yuan (US$7,322) for information on them. This nationwide support gives local police bureaus more incentive to investigate kidnapping cases.

Zhang, a native of Yunnan Province in the southwest of the country, was arrested by police in a cement mortar factory in Guangdong's Zhuhai City, where she worked temporarily at a concrete mill.

Early this month, the ministry launched its sixth nationwide campaign to deal with human trafficking.

Chen Shiqu, head of the ministry's office on women and children abduction crimes, said the ministry would continue to work hard to detect serious abduction crimes and issued Class A warrants for notorious human trafficking suspects.

About 3,000 cases of kidnapping children and women are reported and investigated by the Chinese authorities annually, but some experts estimate that 10,000 to 20,000 women or children are abducted every year.


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