Human trafficking: 50 held, 18 women rescued in China

Beijing, Jan 7 (IANS) A human-trafficking ring led by a Vietnamese citizen has been busted in China. Police arrested 50 suspects and rescued 17 Vietnamese women and a Chinese woman.

The women -- aged between 17 and 30 years -- were either lured by money to China or kidnapped in Vietnam and smuggled across the border into Yunnan province, the Shanghai Daily reported Monday.

The ring members told Chinese villagers to say that the women were adopted as daughters, and then sold them to bachelors in poverty-stricken areas in Gansu.

The crime came to light when a villager told police that he spent more than 90,000 yuan ($14,500) to "buy a wife", but the woman left home a month later. He said he felt cheated by the middlemen.

On investigation, police found several families in Gansu had Vietnamese wives who claimed they were abducted to China, the newspaper said.

In an operation that ran into several months, police caught 50 suspects from Yunnan, Gansu and Beijing and rescued the 18 women.