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Police bust 12 gangs that kidnapped kids

By  Zhang Yan and He Dan  (China Daily)

14:00, November 22, 2012

Ninety suspects were arrested on charges of abducting Xinjiang children and coercing them to be thieves or robbers, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.

A total of 28 children were rescued in an operation launched by police in places involving Beijing, Jilin, Guangdong, Shaanxi and Xinjiang in October, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The police busted 12 gangs on Oct 30.

Police said the gangs are suspected of kidnapping children in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and forcing them to commit crimes such as theft in major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Changchun in Jilin province, and Changsha in Hunan province.

Suspected gang members "beat, abused or threatened" these young children to force them to steal and rob in public places, such as shopping centers, underpasses, and railway stations, Huang Shihai, spokesman for the ministry, said on Wednesday.

The children will be sent home as soon as possible, Huang said.

The operation is a part of a campaign to crack down on abduction of children that the ministry launched in April 2011 and will be complete by the end of this year.

Police have arrested 2,749 suspects believed to be involved in abducting and coercing minors from Xinjiang since the launch of the campaign, according to the ministry.

Police have rescued 2,274 children in the campaign.

Gangsters choose Xinjiang children partly because police have trouble investigating these children due to language barriers, said Dai Peng, director of the criminal investigation department under the Chinese People's Public Security University.

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