Couple Sells 3 Children to Fund Online Gaming; Police Rescue 89

Police have mounted large-scale raids on two child-trafficking gangs, according to authorities, arresting 369 and rescuing 89 children. From the Associated Press:

The busts highlighted China’s thriving black market in children — mostly involving buyers who want more children or those who want them as slave labor — that endures despite harsh penalties for traffickers, including death.

One case stretched across 14 provinces in China and the other involved a trafficking ring that mainly sold children in Vietnam through neighboring Guangxi province ….

It is often difficult to trace the parents of trafficked children and the law has not clearly defined the circumstances in which a buyer of a child should be punished. While many babies are stolen, some are sold by their parents.

Liu Ancheng, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security Criminal Investigation Bureau, was quoted in the People’s Daily report as saying that if the buyers have not abused the children, they cannot be held criminally responsible.

ABC and China Daily recently reported that a teenaged couple in Guangdong sold three children to buy time at internet cafés:

They were finally turned into authorities when Li Lin’s mother found out what her son and his girlfriend had done.

When asked if they missed their children, the parents answered, “We don’t want to raise them, we just want to sell them for some money.”

Sanxiang City News reports the couple didn’t know they were breaking the law.