XICHUAN, Henan Province -- Chinese police in the central Henan Province have broken up a gang trafficking in children, detaining 10 suspects accused in the serial abduction of nine children.
Police had found all of the children by 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, according to sources with the police in Nanyang City, Henan.
Sun Zhouli, a police officer on the case, said eight of the nine children were abducted from Xichuan County. The other came from neighboring Xixia County. The abducted were sold within the province.
"Each kid was sold for 20,000 yuan ($2,700)," said the officer.
The sum was about two years of a family's income for an average rural household in the densely-populated agricultural province.
"The gang members had abducted nine children, all boys between two and eight years old, since April, and sold them to rural families," said Wang Jianmin, Nanyang Municipal Commission of Politics and Law secretary.
He told Xinhua the family gang was led by Ye Zengxi, 55, his son and daughter-in-law. Also involved was Ye's brother Ye Xiaolin. The gang used Ye's 12-year-old nephew to lure other children away from their parents' view with toys or food, and then whisked them away by motorbike.
Eight of the children were sold to rural families who wanted boys, while another was held captive awaiting a buyer before the police rescue.
Lu Fujin, a father of two of the abducted children, waited anxiously for the police car to bring back his sons who were rescued on Wednesday night from a village in Henan.
"Police told me that they found the boys last night. They had been sold to a place hours away from my home. I would have lost them forever if the police hadn't detected the gang," he said, tears flowing from his eyes.
He said the boys were abducted while playing in front of their grandmother's house on December 8.
"My mother-in-law cried heavily. She bumped her head on a telegraph pole when she ran out of the house searching for the boys after she heard they were abducted by people on motorbikes," said Lu.