Phuket Gazette: 77 kids rescued in major trafficking bust


– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Chinese security forces arrest hundreds, rescue 77 children in major trafficking bust

PHUKET (News Wires): Chinese police have arrested more than 300 suspects during a nationwide investigation into four child trafficking rings, the government announced yesterday. More than 70 abducted children were rescued.

China’s Public Security Ministry said the operation began on early Wednesday morning and was carried out simultaneously by police forces across 20 provinces and autonomous regions in China. The joint operation resulted in the arrest of 310 suspects and the rescue of 77 abducted children.

According to the Ministry, the operation began in October 2011 when authorities discovered that two separate trafficking rings had been buying infants from Yunnan, Guangxi and Shanxi, among other areas, and selling them to clients in Shandong. At the same time, two other gangs were operating in southwestern Guizhou Province.

“After more than five months of painstaking investigation, the public security organs identified key members of the criminal gangs and networks,” said a spokesperson for the Public Security Ministry, adding that Wednesday’s operation involved more than 7,000 police officers.

Human trafficking remains a serious problem in China. Tens of thousands of young women have been kidnapped from poor regions and sold to rural families to marry single men. Trafficking in children is also a major problem and most victims are baby boys which are sold to sterile couples who are not qualified to adopt children.

Since last year, Chinese authorities have launched a fierce offensive against groups which traffic abducted women and children. According to official figures, police stopped 3,195 human trafficking gangs in 2011, leading to the rescue of 15,458 women and 8,660 abducted children.

Additionally, in an effort to discourage people from buying abducted children, those children who are rescued will no longer be allowed to stay with the family which bought them. As a result, buyers will lose both the child and the money they gave to the child trafficking gang.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

World News

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