Chinese police 'smash' trafficking gangs, frees 181

The BBC's Martin Patience: "There could be thousands, if not tens of thousands of children abducted every year"

Related Stories

Chinese police have broken up two major child trafficking gangs and freed 181 children, officials say.

Authorities arrested 802 suspects on Monday in an operation across the country, the Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

Kidnapped children are often sold for adoption, or as labour and household servants.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China and critics blame the one-child policy and lax adoption laws.

These policies, some say, have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

A traditional preference for male heirs in China has created a thriving market for baby boys, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing. Women and girls are often abducted to be labourers or wives.

In the latest operation, the children were rescued from traffickers in 15 regions and provinces, including Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Yunnan.

Investigations that led to the current round of arrests began in December 2011 when four suspects were caught in Henan province while attempting to sell four babies.

A ''most-wanted'' suspect, Shao Zhongyuan, was caught in Pingyi county, Shandong province, the ministry said.

One child's kidnap story

He was alleged to be from a gang that trafficked more than 100 children. Several other key suspects were also detained, police said.

The ministry released a report in March 2011 saying that police rescued tens of thousands of abducted children and women.

It highlighted one raid against a gang trafficking Chinese women to Angola for prostitution, adding that 19 women were rescued and 16 people were arrested.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China's economic reforms is thought to have also made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More China stories

RSS

Features

  • photo of patient zero, two year-old Emile OuamounoPatient zero

    Tracking first Ebola victim and and how virus spread


  • A young Chinese girl looks at an image of BarbieBarbie's battle

    Can the doll make it in China at the second attempt?


  • Prosperi in the 1994 MdSLost in the desert

    How I drank urine and bat blood to survive in the Sahara


  • Afghan interpetersBlacklisted

    The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban


  • Flooded homesNo respite

    Many hit by last winter's floods are struggling to pay soaring insurance bills


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.