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Police deny online trafficking rumors

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

10:55, July 12, 2012

Beijing police Wednesday denied online rumors that alleged human traffickers were seizing women near a subway station in Xicheng district.

"We remind residents to not easily believe and circulate untrue information on the Internet, to avoid unnecessary panic," Beijing police said on their official microblog.

The post was in response to a widely circulated Sina microblog, which alleged a woman was stalked at Changchunjie Station, on Line 2.

The person who originally uploaded the post could not be verified. It claimed a woman was followed by a man of around 20 as she took a lift up to ground level from the subway station on July 5. The man buried his head into the bag on the woman's back to avoid being seen by the security camera, but then quickly ran away when the woman noticed his odd behavior.

The post then claimed the man was part of a trafficking gang which tries to kidnap women.

"If the woman resists, they'd say it's a fight between a couple to stop passengers intervening. Those women will be illegally sold or will become prostitutes," the post alleged.

Another Web user said she was accosted by a man at Exit B of Dawanglu Station last month.

"He looked friendly and said 'you arrived so late. Did you take Subway Line 1?' When I ignored him, he chased me," she said, adding his friends tried to block her from taking his photograph.

"This has happened to me several times, but I'm afraid police won't intervene, as I didn't lose anything and they didn't catch me," she said.

Women should be particularly alert to danger, especially when alone, said Wang Dawei, a professor of criminology at Chinese People's Public Security University.

"Crimes targeted at women are more frequent in summer, on buses or subways," Wang noted.

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