Friday, September 07, 2007

China: Police Bust Baby Trafficking Ring

Chinese government officials announced on Friday 7 September 2007 that they had busted a child trafficking gang in Yunnan province in southwestern China, arresting a total of 57 gang members, 47 in Yunnan province and 10 in Shandong province.

Nanding railway police had been investigating the ring for more than three months. The police had became suspicious of four women traveling together, each with newborn babies, and each failing to breastfeed the infants on a trip from Kunming, capital of Yunnan, to Nanjing. The four women were taken into custody for questioning and one of the women confessed to having bought the infants. She said that she and two other suspects had been buying babies from Yunnan province since 2005; her husband and ten other "human traders" had responsibility for selling the babies in Shandong province. Based on this information police uncovered the wider child trafficking ring.

There was no suggestion that any of the babies were meant for foreign adoption.

--from's article as listed below
Indeed it appears that all the babies, who were about one month old at the time of their transportation, were trafficked to adoptive families within China.

According to one news article, according to details released by Chinese officials, baby girls were usually bought for 1,500 yuan (US $200) and sold for 8,000 yuan (US $1,067 ); baby boys were normally bought for 8,000 yuan (US $1,067) and sold for 20,000 yuan (US $2,667). Children were apparently bought in the rural Gejiu region of Yunnan and sold in the rural areas around Shandong's Tancheng city.

However, according to another report, it was not necessarily clear that the children had been bought:

The report did not say whether the natural parents had sold the children or were victims of abductions. Child trafficking cases in the past have involved both payment and abduction.

--from's article as listed below
The particular gang of women and traders arrested on the train had "bought 27 newborn babies in Yunnan during 16 trips and then sold them in Shandong."

However, investigators believe that the larger gang had bought and sold more than 60 babies over the last 2 years. Officials have thus far "recovered" more than 40 of these children from the families to whom they were sold and are attempting to "recover" the rest.

As to the domestic adoption market within China:

China has a thriving trade in babies that are stolen or bought from poor families and then sold to couples who want another child, a servant or a future bride for a son.

--from the Pravda article as listed below
In regard to past child trafficking arrests in China:

In another high-profile scandal that exposed the rampant trafficking of children in China, 54 people in southern Guangxi region were convicted in 2004 of trafficking 117 girls.

That case broke when police found 28 drugged and tied-up baby girls--none over three months old--in bags on a bus bound for nothern [Chinese] cities.

At least three people were executed in the case, while more than 100 people outside of Guangxi were arrested for buying the children.

--from the Herald Sun article as listed below

Gang Trafficking Over 60 Babies Cracked, China, 7 Sept 2007

China Police Break Baby Trafficking Ring, The Associated Press, 7 Sept 2007

Baby Trafficking Ring Busted, Herald Sun (of Australia), 7 Spet 2007

China Cracks Suspected Baby Trafficking Gang,, 7 Sept 2007

Baby Trafficking Ring Destroyed By Police in China, Pravda, 7 Sept 2007

And 77 other articles, mostly repeats of AP articles, at Google News stories on China Baby Trafficking Ring

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