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November 7, 2009

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S. China police save 19 kids in crackdown on child trafficking

POLICE in south China have rescued another 19 children in the ongoing nationwide crackdown against the buying and selling of children.

Two of the youngsters have been reunited with their families, and DNA tests have located the relatives of 12 other boys, police in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region said yesterday. Eleven of the kids were from Guangxi and one from Yunnan Province.

The children were found when a team of officers was sent to south China's Guangdong and Fujian provinces after a suspect surnamed Lan was seized on October 13. Lan allegedly told police his ring had stolen more than 30 children in Guangxi.

Investigators said they were still working to rescue more children in Guangxi.

Guangxi police have recovered 207 women and children since a nationwide campaign began on April 9.

China's Ministry of Public Security, which launched the overall crackdown, said it had rescued 2,169 children through last week. About 1,900 kids still have not been identified and reunited with their parents.

The ministry has launched a special Webpage in an attempt to help parents find their children.

It has also set up a databank to store personal information, including DNA results from all the rescued children.

Child trafficking has grown into a high-profit business in some of China's poor areas, according to China Central Television. The underground industry has established a complete chain, from kidnapping, to transportation and sales.

Some trafficking networks involve hundreds of participants, mostly women, according to Ma Ning, a police captain in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

China's less-developed provinces are chief targets. In a case covering 12 cities and provinces, Shanxi Province police rescued 52 kidnapped infants. Guangxi police rescued 50 infants from seven gangs between May and July.

Most victims are children of migrant workers living in suburban areas where security is often poor and parents are too busy working to take care of their offspring.

The children are usually taken to a new city within half an hour after they are snatched and then sold to others to make it difficult for their parents and police to trace them, Ma said.

Some children are sold for adoption by childless couples, and others are trained as beggars or prostitutes.

The price of these snatched kids has soared in recent years. An abducted boy could sell for more than 18,000 yuan (US$2,626) to rich families in the southern provinces.


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