Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Child trafficking suspects nabbed by Shanghai cops


Railway police in Shanghai say they have detained 47 suspects and rescued 21 babies in a months-long crackdown on child trafficking.

The sting operations since last spring, involving police in five provinces, cracked a major baby trafficking ring, with the most recent raid netting 18 suspected child traffickers and 12 babies, according to a police statement on the local government Web site, reported yesterday in local newspapers.

Many of the children were kidnapped from Yunnan Province and taken by train to Jiangsu and Shandong provinces. It was unclear if any of the babies were meant for families in Shanghai.

Nationwide, police have rescued 2,008 kidnapped children and solved 1,717 cases since the crackdown was launched on April 9, a report in the People’s Daily said.

Chinese have a traditional preference for male heirs that is particularly strong in rural areas, resulting in trafficking of boys. Some families also sell their girl babies in order to try for a boy, since the country’s one-child policy limits most families to having one child.

The Ministry of Public Security has said it is setting up a DNA database to combat child trafficking. The database will include DNA from the parents of abducted children and samples from children who are suspected of having been abducted or vagrant children with an unclear history.

Meanwhile, police in Malaysia have rescued six babies from child traffickers who paid women to deliver infants to childless couples for purchase, an official said yesterday.

Authorities have arrested 15 suspects involved in the Kuala Lumpur-based trafficking group, including its operations leader and two pregnant women, a city police official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

Four boys and two girls — including one two-weeks old — have been rescued and placed in the care of welfare officials since police launched the crackdown earlier this month, he said.

The group promised to pay Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino and Vietnamese immigrant women 5,000 ringgit (US$1,500) for each baby delivered, officials said.

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