Male babies sell for $11,000, females for $8,000: police
More human traffickers in China are taking pregnant women delivery to the homes of potential buyers, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
The new trend was revealed by the MPS on its website on Thursday.
Police in Hebei, Shanxi, Sichuan, Shandong and Henan provinces busted six human trafficking gangs in a recent raid, rescuing 64 babies and arresting 171 people, including a 72-year-old woman, the Beijing Times reported Thursday.
Most traffickers busted in the raid have adopted clandestine ways to move pregnant women to the buyers' residence, where they sell the newborns in order to avoid being busted transporting babies.
"Traffickers resorted to the new strategy in recent years ever since police intensified patrols and inspections at bus and railway stations where traffickers used to trade," Chen Shiqu of the MPS' Criminal Investigation Department, who is also one of the leaders of the raid, told the Beijing Times.
In one particular case, a pregnant woman from Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, was brought to a village in Central China's Henan Province by an alleged human trafficking agent in October last year. Her baby boy was then sold to a couple in Henan for 70,000 yuan ($11,298) right after delivery. The boy, who was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was rescued by Henan police on March 25.
Local police said that traffickers sold female infants for 50,000 yuan each, and 70,000 yuan for males.
Many trafficked babies are sold by their biological parents, and often suffer from congenital defects as some of their biological mothers are in poor health or take illegal drugs, Chen added.
Some doctors were also found offering bogus birth certificates to aid the traffickers, who also bribed their way to arrange prenatal procedures.
Chen said that aside from traffickers and buyers, people who helped in transporting the babies and provided midwife services will also be targeted in future crackdowns.
Parents who sell their children and human traffickers can be charged with child trafficking based on the Criminal Law, but buyers would avoid criminal liability if they do not hurt the children.
Zhang Zhiwei, a lawyer who specializes in protecting children's rights, told the Global Times that he and other lawyers have submitted proposals to amend the Criminal Law, which include stiffer punishment on buyers. The MPS on Thursday also vowed to amend the law.