Fifteen babies rescued by officers from a human trafficking ring had been sold by their parents for 10,000 yuan (US$1,605) for a girl and around 30,000 yuan (US$4,815) for a boy, said police in south China's Guangdong Province.
Parents sold 15 babies at up to 30,000 yuan each.[File photo]
One of the babies was found dead and 27 suspects were caught, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
The babies are under a year old and the youngest was only 10 days old when police found them during a joint operation in October.
The babies were to be sold by traffickers for at least 50,000 yuan for boys and 20,000 yuan for girls in Guangdong's Huizhou City, police said.
Many of the parents in poor Wenshan County in southwestern Yunnan Province had fled or left home to find work, police said. Others were traced but denied selling a child and went into hiding. Only one baby has been claimed while the others are still at a children's home in Guangdong.
Parents may face charges. Police have detained three fathers.
Police compared the babies' DNA with their database of missing babies and were surprised to find none was reported missing.
"I've handled lots of baby trafficking cases," said Xie Ying, a police officer in Huizhou. "Suspects swindle or take the babies by force in almost all cases," he said.
Traffickers kept telling the young parents that selling the baby to a richer family would benefit the child, police said.
Xie said the money offered was a lot for some parents.
"They can build a new house with the money earned," he said.
Children's home head Chen Su'e said authorities will work with police to determine the children's futures once the investigation is finished.
"They will not be adopted because they are not abandoned babies," she said. "Their legal relationship with their parents still exists."