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October 24, 2009

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Police swoop on major child-trafficking gang

POLICE in north China said yesterday that they had arrested 42 people after breaking up a child-trafficking ring that sold at least 52 babies nationwide in the past two years.

The ring bought 19 boys and 33 girls in Shanxi and neighboring Hebei Province and resold them to make a total of 400,000 yuan (US$58,600), a spokesman with the Shanxi provincial public security bureau said.

Police in Shanxi's Yingxian County stopped three men, Zhao Dongsheng and his two sons from Zhaoxian County, Hebei Province, on May 8. They had a baby boy in their van, and looked nervous when police asked the identity of the infant.

Zhao allegedly confessed they bought the boy from Zhao Fenglin and her daughter, Yan Yonghua, of Yingxian County, on May 5 for 29,500 yuan.

They were hoping the two women would take the infant back because the potential buyer in Hebei complained he was not healthy enough.

It was the 13th baby they had bought from the women, the bureau spokesman said.

Police arrested the two women on May 10.

The suspects allegedly confessed to police they were part of a ring that trafficked babies between Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing.

At least 10 provided "demand-and-supply" information for payment.

Other members cajoled rural families in at least four counties in Shanxi and Hebei into giving up their babies, and sold them to childless families, making an average profit of 10,000 yuan for a boy and 6,000 yuan for a girl.

Police have so far returned 14 children to their parents.

Police have frozen more than 800,000 yuan in the suspects' bank accounts.


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