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Chinese baby-snatchers arrested

Jan. 15, 2009 at 9:59 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Police in Beijing say they have arrested 13 alleged baby-snatchers and rescued five Chinese toddlers allegedly kidnapped to be sold.

The arrests followed a sweep by law enforcement authorities in seven provinces, police told The Times of London.

In the latest rash of kidnappings, police began to receive reports in September of two men on a motorcycle who grabbed toddlers as they played in the street. Some abductions came in broad daylight and within sight of the parents.

Both boys and girls are in demand, but boys usually fetch a higher price. In this case, reports said, the children were sold for between 860 yuan (about $126) and 26,000 yuan ($3,809).

Kidnapping and sale of children can be punishable by death in China, but the threat fails to deter hundreds each year who take the chance. They are among those eager to profit from desperate parents anxious for a son but hindered by China's "one couple, one child" family policy.

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