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Blood Crooks' Illegal Cash Flow Stemmed
Police in Yangpu District announced Tuesday they had caught a gang of eight suspects engaged in the illegal sale of blood through online recruitment.

Headed by Shanghai man Meng Guangtai, the gang began to organize the practice in November, 2001, when they realized they could earn quick money by netting a substantial part of the blood donation subsidy given by the local work units which are supposed to mobilize their staff to donate blood to help meet the city's needs.

As a metropolis with a population of over 16 million, Shanghai needs 72 tons of blood every year for local clinical use.

Although China began to increase voluntary blood donation nationally in 1998 with the introduction of the Blood Donation Law that year, some cities, including Shanghai, still cannot fully rely on voluntary unpaid blood donations.

Local employers are therefore supposed to encourage their staff to make contributions.

That situation gave Meng and his accomplices lucrative inspiration.

Knowing that some units would pay a donor 2,200 yuan (US$266) as a subsidy for 400 milliliters of blood, Meng asked a female accomplice Liu Jiali to leave advertising messages in the online chat rooms, recruiting blood donors with an offer of 800 yuan (US$96) for the same volume of blood.

After finding the donors, Meng and his partners would lead them to the blood donation stations with fake identity cards to replace those employees who are supposed to make such donations.

(China Daily May 28, 2003)

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