Six people in south China's Guangdong province have been jailed for operating an illegal blood donation ring, the Nanfang Daily reports.
The gang, which operated in Jieyang City, had been profiting from desperate migrant workers, mainly from Jiangxi and Anhui, selling blood up to ten times each a month by issuing them with fake identity cards. A law introduced in 1998 forbids donors from giving blood more than once every six months.
The gang deducted 80 yuan from each payment a migrant worker received, earning between 4,000 and 30,000 yuan a month in commission. The donors were also provided with medication that enabled them to sell blood more frequently.
Five people were given prison terms ranging from six months to 18 months plus fines of up 10,000 yuan. One person was jailed for eight months and received a 5,000 yuan fine for forging identity cards.
The scandal was exposed by a local newspaper last month.
The Guangdong health department has vowed to protect people's health and the safety of blood stocks, ordering the examination of all blood donations at collection points, hospitals and clinics and strengthened supervision of blood collection.
(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2007)