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Student sentenced to prison for involvement in illegal blood trading

By Li Ying (Global Times)

10:45, January 09, 2012

A university student was sentenced to six months in prison, with one year on probation, at Beijing No.1 Intermediate Court, for involvement in blood trading, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

The 22-year-old, surnamed Cai, came from an impoverished family. She contacted a "blood baron," surnamed Li, to sell her blood.

After that, Cai began to help Li publish information online to recruit blood donors, from which she gained commission. The blood was sold to Beijing's villages, which have blood donation quotas, to fill their targets for voluntary donation.

The Beijing Red Cross Blood Center said that they were investigating the system of blood donation quotas, which were supposedly abolished in 2009, according to a report in the Beijing News in April 2011.

In Beijing, migrant workers and university students from poor families are the main source of illegal blood trading, the report says.

On March 31 2011, Li and Cai helped 33 people to sell blood at a hospital in Fangshan district. Li obtained 3,700 yuan ($586) while Cai earned 600 yuan. Li was sentenced to one year in prison, according to the report.

Since November 2011, Beijing has experienced a blood shortage due to declining donors at blood collection stations. Volunteers account for 90 percent of the city's blood bank, Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said last Thursday.

"According to the law on volunteer blood donation, trading blood for cash is illegal," Ma Yanming, deputy director of the health bureau's publicity department, told the Global Times yesterday.

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