Henan Province railway police detained 11 suspects in an alleged baby-trafficking ring after finding seven infants on a train with a group of suspicious women.
The infants were all girls less than one month old. After being rescued by police at the Zhengzhou Railway Station, the infants are now at a social welfare home in Zhengzhou, capital city of Henan, Xinhua news Agency reported yesterday. Two additional suspects were still at large.
Officers became suspicious when they encountered eight women with infants at the railway station on October 21, Xinhua said. Police couldn't understand their dialect so they stopped the women for questioning.
The women soon confessed that the infants were not their babies, and they were taking them to Shandong Province for sale. Four of the women are Guizhou Province natives, and the others are from Yunnan Province, the report said.
Alleged ringleader Long Fang confessed to police that she had asked an in-law, Liu Yongqiong, to buy babies in October. Liu later contacted a man surnamed Huang and three other suspects and asked them to purchase infants in Yunnan, according to the news agency. Liu and Huang remain at large.
Long bought three babies from Huang for 7,000 yuan (US$1,024) each in mid-October and paid 7,600 yuan for another girl from a woman surnamed Zhao, police said. Two Yunnan natives later sold her another girl for an undisclosed price.
Long arranged for five women to transport the five babies to Shandong, where an accomplice, Zhang Li who was responsible for selling the infants, was waiting, Xinhua said.
Long and the five women took a train from Guiyang in Guizhou Province and met two other accomplices on the way. The pair allegedly had two babies they purchased for a total of 8,000 yuan in Guizhou.
They arrived at the Zhengzhou Railway Station on October 21 and planned to take a bus to Shandong with the others, the report said.
After catching the eight women in Zhengzhou, police apprehended five more suspects in Shandong, Yunnan and Guizhou in the following three weeks. Eleven have been detained, and two are still being investigated, according to the report.
The report did not say who sold the babies to the alleged trafficking ring.
(Shanghai Daily January 9, 2009)