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Ads in hospitals offering babies for sale are scam to extort cash, say police

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

08:34, June 08, 2013

Messages promising infants for sale have been written on hospital walls in Central China's Henan and Shanxi provinces recently, an anti-child trafficking activist alleged Friday.

Local police have said the notices are a scam, aimed at extorting money from people desperate to become parents, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The activist, who would not give his real name, posts on Sina Weibo as part of an NGO called "Weibo cracking down on child trafficking." He posted several photographs online, showing cellphone numbers and a message saying "baby for sale," which were written on the walls of Henan Provincial People's Hospital in Zhengzhou and Shuozhou People's Hospital in Shanxi Province.

After he dialed the number left in the Henan hospital, a man told him that he could provide babies of all ages.

"He said the babies are bought from private hospitals in Northeast China. A male baby is sold for 45,000 yuan ($7,330) and a female for 30,000 yuan. The man said they could do the transactions nationwide," the activist said.

A woman from this hospital's security department told the Global Times she knew of the ads, but was unsure whether the ads had been cleaned up, although Xinhua reported they had been. "It's difficult to stop outsiders from posting illegal adverts in the hospital. Our hospital has never sold infants," she said.

While the Henan number could not be reached Friday, a man who answered the number left in Shuozhou hospital claimed he could provide abandoned infants from 30 to 60 days old.

"The babies are obtained from hospitals," he said. "You can organize a hospital check-up for a baby before buying it. If you decide to buy one, we'll send people and a car to hand the baby to you in your city. But you must remit the money to me." A male baby costs 35,000 yuan and a female 25,000 yuan.

The man refused to say where he is, although the cellphone number is from Loudi, Hunan Province.

"People, including doctors who sell infants, commit the crime of child trafficking. The maximum sentence they face is the death penalty," said Hong Daode, a law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law.

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