Child traffickers sentenced to death

Updated: Dec 29, 2018 China Daily Print
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Two child traffickers were sentenced to death in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, after a public hearing on Friday.

The verdict against Zhang Weiping and Zhou Rongping was handed down by the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court on Friday morning.

All the assets they illegally gained from trafficking children were confiscated, the verdict said.

Additionally, the court sentenced Yang Chaoping and Liu Zhenghong, key members in the gang, to life in prison. Another gang member, Chen Shoubi, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and fined 3,000 yuan ($440).

All the defendants are from Zunyi, Guizhou province.

The court said Zhang, Zhou and their gang were found to have participated in nine cases of abducting and trafficking children between 2003 and 2005-and the whereabouts of the nine are still unknown.

The verdict said Zhang and Zhou had committed serious crimes and harmed society, and they should be harshly punished to deter others.

Zhang, Zhou and their gang members were detained separately from March to June in 2016, as police busted the gang.

Zhang admitted to have sold the nine children via an intermediary he called Mei Yi, who is still on the run.

The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau published Mei Yi's portrait in June last year and is now posting a reward for the whereabouts and capture of Mei Yi.

In one of the cases, the gang broke into the rented home of migrant worker Shen Junliang and his wife when Shen was not at home, tied up the wife and took away her 11-month-old boy in 2005. The boy was sold via Mei Yi for 13,000 yuan.

Shen, from Henan province, quit his job to look for his son for the past 13 years, and ended up heavily in debt. Shen's wife has suffered from psychological trauma since her son was abducted.

After attending the public hearing on Friday, Shen said he had mixed feelings when he learned Zhang and Zhou were sentenced to death.

"They should be sentenced to death ... but police will have even more difficulties to find Mei Yi and thus locate the abducted children after the pair are put to death," Shen said with tears in his eyes.

Shen said he hoped police would be able to help him find his son, since he had failed to find him after having traveled in every small lane in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan and other major cities in Guangdong.


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