China arrests 355 child trafficking suspects, rescues 89 children
The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 24, 2012 9:09PM EST
BEIJING -- A national operation in China has busted nine child abduction gangs, arresting 355 suspects and rescuing 89 children.
China's Ministry of Public Security says it conducted the nine-province operation in December after receiving reports of child abductions from southern China's Fujian and Yunnan provinces.
The ministry said Monday that the suspects bought abducted children in provinces including Yunnan and Sichuan and transported them to other provinces, where they were sold for huge profits.
Despite severe legal punishments that include the death penalty, child trafficking is a big problem in China. The commerce is highly profitable for sellers, and the demand is strong, driven partly by the traditional preference for male heirs, a strict one-child policy and ignorance of the law.
In 2011, Chinese police rescued 8,660 abducted children.