Chinese baby-snatchers sentenced to death

Date: 2010-09-28
Source: Telegraph

Li Diji and Wu Suiqing, both 56, stole 46 male babies over a two year period, selling them to families in Fujian province for as much as £4,000 each.

China's one-child policy has left many families desperate for a male heir and created a black market for male children. The desire for sons is particularly acute in the countryside, where they are expected to care for their family in old age.

Daughters, meanwhile, live with their husband's family after marriage.

All of Li and Wu's victims were aged under one and snatched by a network of thieves across the relatively poor provinces of Guangxi, Sichuan and Yunnan before being sold on in Fujian. Chinese police said the two men headed a well-organised gang of 13 people.

The gang was caught after traffic police detained Li after noticing that the license plate on his minibus was suspiciously covered with a cloth. After four months of further investigation, ten further members of the gang were caught and all 46 babies were traced and rescued.

Li's son told the Straits Metropolis Daily, a local newspaper, that he did not know what his father was up to.

"I have no idea why he did this," he said to the paper, which did not name him. He said his family was relatively well-off.

Wang Chaoyang, a 55-year-old tea farmer, was convicted of buying a baby from Li and Wu in July 2008 and sentenced to one year in prison and two years of probation.

"I blame myself for what I did," he said.

"I did not know I was breaking the law."

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