44 babies rescued from traffickers
Police in East China¡¯s Fujian Province had broken up a baby-trafficking ring, arrested 40 people and rescued 44 infants, the Beijing News reported Thursday.
The ring, involving 104 people in six provinces, had trafficked in 70 babies, including seven from Burma, over the past 10 years, the Beijing News said.
Many of the smuggled babies had traveled with breast-feeding women who claimed that the babies were theirs, said the paper.
The case emerged in early 2004 when police received reports saying that a village midwife in Putian City in Fujian allegedly trafficked six babies.
Li Meilan, the midwife, allegedly trafficked the babies with falsified birth certificates. Four of the six babies had false birth certificates, investigators found.
¡°Twins¡± allegedly trafficked by Li were born in different hospitals.
Further investigations found that Li had been working with a major human trafficking ring including rural women, hospital staff, and village midwives.
Last October, the case was listed by the Ministry of Public Security as a major crime case.
Investigations found that the ring had 104 members. Police have arrested 40 of them, including 29 women and 11 men. They have also rescued 44 of the 70 trafficked babies and found the hometowns of 29 infants.
The babies were from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces in Southwest China, Fujian Province in East China, Guizhou Province in West China and Guangdong Province in South China, and Burma, which neighbors Yunnan.