Couple detained for selling their two sons

Updated: 2016-05-06 08:30

By Ma Lie In Xi'an And Zhang Yi In Beijing(China Daily)

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A couple in Xixiang county, Shaanxi province, was detained recently for allegedly selling their children.

The county's public security bureau said its investigation showed that the husband, surnamed Li, 43, and his wife, surnamed Huang, 35, got 74,000 yuan ($11,300) from the sale of their two sons - one in 2013 and the other in 2014 - during a period in which they were migrant workers in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

According to Xu Guodong, chief of the No 1 criminal police squadron, Li came to the bureau in March to report that his wife had sold the boys. Li said she often quarreled with him and wanted a divorce, but investigators determined that in fact Li and his wife sold their sons together, Xu said.

Li and Huang went to Inner Mongolia in June 2012. When Huang became pregnant, the two discussed selling the baby after it was born, the investigation found. In April 2013 Huang gave birth to a baby boy and sold him for 34,000 yuan the same day, the police said.

Then, in June 2014, Huang gave birth to another baby boy at a Dengkou county hospital and sold him for 40,000 yuan.

Zhao Jing, a police officer involved in the investigation, told China Daily that the husband had no children before their marriage, while Huang had a child from a previous marriage.

"The couple confessed that the boy born in the hospital in Dengkou county was sold to a local resident surnamed Xiao. Following clues, we caught Xiao and his wife and took the boy back. It's been arranged for him to live with his grandfather," Zhao said.

Xiao couple was detained for buying the boy.

The Xixiang county police are continuing to search for the first boy, who was sold in 2013.

Under the Criminal Law, selling a child carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison. The penalty rises with multiple children or other circumstances. In severe cases involving the death of a child, sexual abuse, selling a child overseas or other serious acts, sellers can face a life sentence or even the death penalty.

The ninth amendment to the Criminal Law enacted in November increased penalties for those who buy children. Under the modified provision, a buyer is not immune from punishment, although buyers may receive less severe penalties if they have not abused the child or attempted to hinder rescue efforts.

The amendment is a big shift from the previous situation in which those who buy children were generally not subject to criminal liability.

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(China Daily 05/06/2016 page5)