UK & World News
China Baby Trafficking: 1,094 Suspects Arrested
Chinese police have arrested 1,094 people and rescued hundreds of infants in a crackdown on baby trafficking.
Four online rings using "unofficial adoption" as a front have been targeted.
Trafficking is a major problem in China, in part due to population controls encouraging a bias towards sons.
There is a demand for kidnapped or bought baby boys, as well as girls who could attract lucrative dowries as brides in sparsely populated areas.
"Child traffickers have now taken the fight online, using 'unofficial adoption' as a front," state news agency Xinhua quoted an unidentified police official as saying.
"They are well-hidden and very deceptive."
Websites called "China's Orphan Network" and "Dream Adoption Home" have been exposed in the crackdown.
It is not yet clear if or how the 382 rescued babies will be reunited with their parents.
Xinhua is warning parents to beware of kidnappers posing as nurses in hospitals or waiting outside school gates ready to bundle children into a vehicle.
Approximately 118 boys are born for every 100 girls in the world's most populous country, compared to the global average of 103 to 107.
Sons are preferred as support for elderly parents and heirs to the family name, leading to the abortion, killing or abandonment of girls.
Last month a Chinese court gave a suspended death sentence to a doctor who sold seven newborns to human traffickers.
Obstetrician Zhang Shuxia, 55, was found guilty of selling the babies in the Shaanxi province for as much as 21,600 yuan (£2,200).
The Chinese government announced last year that family restrictions would be eased, allowing families to have a second child in some circumstances.
China has a population of 1.4 billion.
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