Over 800 held after police break child-trafficking ring


A huge operation involving 10,000 police officers has broken up a child-trafficking ring operating in 15 Chinese provinces, leading to the arrest of 802 people, after babies were being auctioned off to the highest bidder for up to £5,000 each.

Chinese state television showed pictures of a child being taken away from a woman who had allegedly bought it. Suspects and other rescued children were also shown being detained by police.

The ministry said 181 children were freed during the raids, which took place simultaneously in provinces across China, from Yunnan in the south-west to Hebei in the north.

Human trafficking is a major problem in China. There is a traditional preference for boys over girls, especially in rural areas, and there has been a spike in the number of young boys being kidnapped.

And with the country’s one-child policy to control population growth still in effect, there are also reports of families in rural areas selling their baby girls for cash, allowing them to try again for a boy.

According to reports yesterday, one of those arrested was a doctor at a clinic in Hebei who organised a trade in which women sold their children for up to 50,000 yuan (£5,000), with the price dependent on the baby’s gender and health and its parents’ appearance.

An unidentified police officer told the Xinhua news agency that police were managing to contain child trafficking, but the practice was still prominent in some areas, and the police would continue their policy of zero tolerance.

One suspected child trafficker, Shao Zhongyuan, who has been linked to a gang that trafficked more than 100 children, was arrested in Shandong.

Girls who are kidnapped are often sold into prostitution, and in one high-profile case last year, the police broke up a gang that was trafficking women to Angola. In that raid, 19 women were rescued and 16 suspects were apprehended.

Girls and women also are abducted to be used as labourers or as brides for unwed sons, because the one-child policy has seen a massive discrepancy in the ratio between the number of boys and girls.

China started a campaign in 2009 to combat trafficking, and last year, police rescued more than 24,000 kidnapped women and children nationwide.

Abductions and human trafficking have become serious public concerns after a string of revelations in recent years, including a shocking 2007 scandal in which thousands including children as young as eight were forced into slave labour in brickworks and mines across the nation.

Courts usually give out harsh punishments – including the death sentence – to convicted traffickers.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Technician (2nd Line / Server Support) - Bedford

£24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...


£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Science Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified science t...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments