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Trans-border traffickers go on trial after big crackdown

(Global Times)

09:02, August 29, 2012

A total of 24 suspects, including 10 Vietnamese women, stood trial Monday in a local court in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for trafficking children across the region's China-Vietnam border, officials said Tuesday.

The suspects were members of a trafficking ring that bought over 20 infants in Vietnam, smuggled them across the border and sold them to Chinese families from June 2 to July 15 last year, the officials said.

The Fangchenggang Intermediate People's Court has not yet announced its verdict.

Fangchenggang shares the border with the Vietnamese city of Mong Cai, where the babies were smuggled from. The ring was busted in July 2011.

According to Chinese Criminal Law, trafficking three or more children can lead to a prison term ranging from 10 years to life. If the offense is severe, the criminal can even receive the death penalty.

One of the case's prosecutors said that child trafficking is a serious crime, adding that any offender - Chinese or foreign - will be punished.

Human trafficking is a serious problem in China. Numerous cases of young women being kidnapped from poor southwestern regions and sold to rural families in faraway provinces have been uncovered. Infants, usually baby boys, are largely sold to sterile couples who are not qualified to adopt children.

China has taken a tough stance on trafficking. Official figures show that last year, police across the country rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 women after breaking up 3,195 human trafficking gangs.

Xinhua - Global Times
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