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23 officials punished for child-trafficking
Updated: 2006-02-26 09:17

A civil affairs official in Hengyang, Central China's Hunan Province, has been sentenced to one year in prison for child-trafficking, while 22 other officials have been sacked.

Social welfare homes in six counties under the jurisdiction of Hengyang were accused of buying abducted infants from human-traffickers from December 2002. In 2005 alone, the homes bought 78 abducted infants.

Chen Ming, in charge of Hengdong Social Welfare home, was sentenced on Friday but he is on the run, according to police.

Deng Guangyang and Zhou Liqun, heads of Hengyang and Hengdong county civil affairs bureaus, were removed from their posts for their negligence of duties. The officials in charge of the social welfare homes were also sacked.

Human traffickers Liang Guihong, Duan Meilin and Dai Chao were sentenced to 15 years in prison with a penalty of 50,000 yuan (US$6,250) each. The other six human traffickers got sentences between three and 13 years.

Court investigation showed that the convicted human traffickers bought infants from South China's Guangdong Province and sold them to social welfare homes in Hengyang, Hunan at the price of 3,200-4,300 yuan (US$400 to US$538) each.

The social welfare homes then had the infants adopted by foreigners who made donations.

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China sentences orphanage director, nine others to prison for baby-trafficking
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