Police in China smashed four child-trafficking rings, leading to the arrest of over one thousand people who were using websites to trade babies, authorities said yesterday.
The authorities rescued 382 infants from trafficking operations across 27 cities in China, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
The crackdown on February 19 was launched after police in Beijing and Jiangsu received a tip-off last year that the suspects were engaged in child trafficking by running a website that promoted baby adoption.
Further inquiries showed the suspects operated four such websites, and used various tools on the internet, such as an instant messaging platform and online bulletin boards, to communicate with potential buyers.
A total of 1,094 suspects were arrested, the ministry said.
Liu Ancheng , deputy director of the security ministry’s criminal investigation bureau, said that the criminals were pulling off the operation secretly under the veil of baby adoption.
“They have no boundaries and their networks are spreading across the whole nation,” he said.
Baby trafficking continues to be an issue in China as traffickers look to capitalize on the demand for healthy babies from adoptive parents in China and abroad.
Just last month, a Chinese obstetrician was given the death sentence after she sold seven babies to a trafficking ring in six separate cases from 2011 to 2013 by persuading patients that their newborns were sick and that they should give them up.
Officials are often the ones taking part in the operation. At the beginning of last year, we reported that police arrested the head of a village family planning committee in Fujian who was making thousands of yuan purchasing infants from trafficking groups and reselling them to local customers, and months later, nine suspects, including one doctor, were arrested in connection with an alleged baby trafficking ring in Shaanxi.