A man suspected of organizing illegal blood donations and another involved in making false identity cards for "professional" donors in Jieyang City in south China's Guangdong Province have been apprehended, local police said Sunday.
Police are trying to capture another gang boss who is on the run. Investigations are continuing and five blood donors are ready to give evidence, the police said.
The health department of the Guangdong provincial government confirmed in a press release Saturday night that gangs in the area have been making profits by illegally organizing people to sell blood.
The release said the local government has taken "immediate and effective" action to crack down on the illegal practice and has been carrying out a thorough investigation of blood collection at the city's central collection point.
Investigation has shown that the "donors" sell blood under false names, according to the department.
Local health authorities started investigation on Wednesday after media disclosed that gang leaders are recruiting desperate migrants from Jiangxi, Anhui and other provinces and sending them to Jieyang to sell blood.
At blood collection points, donors are customarily paid around 200 yuan (US$26) to cover traveling and other expenses.
One of the donors told the Beijing Evening News that gang bosses typically deduct a commission of 80 yuan from each payment a migrant receives and they earn between 4,000 and 30,000 yuan a month in commissions.
Reports also said the sellers, who sell blood around 10 times a month, have been given medicine that allowed them to sell blood frequently.
The practice contravenes the law on the donation of blood. The law, which was introduced in 1998, forbids donors to give blood more than once every six months.
The department said that "to protect people's safety and health and to ensure the safety of blood stocks", all the governments in Guangdong must examine blood safety at collection points, hospitals and clinics and strengthen supervision of blood collection.
(Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2007)