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Kidnappers arrested as police find 3 children
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Police in Heyuan of south China's Guangdong province have rescued three children abducted in October after cracking a kidnapping outfit.

However, a fourth child who disappeared around the same time is still missing, said officials yesterday.

Huang Yunbiao, Wen Haijie and Tang Duowen, all aged three, were found between April 29 and May 2 and have been returned to their families.

"The criminal gang we just captured claimed responsibility for kidnapping the three kids, but not to taking Miao Yujin, who will also now be three years old," said Chen Yitao, vice-director of Heyuan public security bureau.

The four-strong gang arrested by police - identified as Xiao Yuande, Xiao Yuanfu, Zhou Zhiwen and Xie Yaojun - began abducting children in October last year when they snatched Huang, he said.

The leader of the kidnappers, Xiao Yuande, said: "I abducted the kid because my wife's aunt does not have a grandchild. I just wanted to give her a child, I did not intend to sell the kid on." He said his relative did not know about the abduction as he had told her the child was an abandoned orphan.

The four men had not intended to take more children, he said, but were tempted by the potential profits when people started to offer thousands of yuan in exchange for more "orphans".

Xiao explained they had abducted the children in wet markets as they were easy places to distract people's attention.

Chen said the gang's final target was Tang Duowen, who was taken while his parents sold goods at a market on April 3. However, the family who bought the boy returned him to the kidnappers 10 days later because he cried too much.

Xiao took Tang back to the market and abandon him on April 29, said Chen, who added that the child's return and the trail of evidence left by the gang provided the breakthrough police needed to crack the case. Chen vowed that the search to find Miao Yujin would continue.

(China Daily May 5, 2009)

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