Beijing police have arrested a man who allegedly employed and profited from an 80-year-old blind beggar in what they claim is their first ever arrest for the crime.
A spokesman for the Public Security Bureau of Haidian District said police came upon Wang begging in the street in mid-August and sent him to the district vagrants assistance station.
Later the police learned the old man had been hired by a man with the surname of Chen, who worked at a nearby supermarket.
Wang told police that he was brought to the capital from his home province of Shandong in East China by Chen, a native of Henan Province in Central China, in April.
Chen paid 20 yuan (US$2.63) for his accommodation and took away all his earnings from begging, Wang said.
On August 20, police arrested Chen when he showed up at the assistance station, claiming he was a relative of Wang who had come to take him home.
Chen allegedly confessed that he took Wang to an overpass in the Zhongguancun area, the city's high-tech district, at 7:00 am each day and picked him up before dark, taking all the money Wang earned.
Chen allegedly said he started the "business" in May, and he had already profited by thousands of yuan in just three months.
Police detained Chen under the Law on Public Security Administration Punishments. Article 41 of the law states those who make use of other people to beg for money will receive ten to 15 days in detention and a fine of up to 1,000 yuan (US$131.5).