Agence France Presse
August 8, 2005
A CHINESE court has sentenced a man to death for running a child trafficking ring that sold 44 children to Singapore over a five-year period, a state newspaper reported Monday, Aug 8.
Ke Pangjie was sentenced in China's southeastern city of Quanzhou, with partners Wu Wenbin and Sheng Zhenzhong getting life imprisonment and 15 years in jail respectively, the Beijing News reported.
The court said the severity of the verdict reflected the large number of children sold beginning in 1998, with no hope of winning their return.
In 1998 Ke met He Yidi, a person running an adoption agency in Singapore, the newspaper said.
While He and an accomplice set about identifying families in Singapore that wanted to adopt a child, Ke searched for children in Fujian's Quanzhou, Yongchun and Anxi cities.
The children were bought from willing parents for between 5000 to 10,000 yuan (US$600 to US$1200) and were then shipped to the Southeast Asian city state, it said.
Once in Singapore, they were sold for at least S$8000 (US$4800).
The report did not say what happened to the traffickers in Singapore. A total of 10 people were involved in the ring.
China's "one child" birth control policy, coupled with the country's long tradition of favoring boys, are seen as catalysts for the trafficking of children.
Last year, 3500 children were rescued from their captors in 1975 cases, state media reports said, although most of these were domestic cases.
Few instances of international child trafficking from China come to light.