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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 10:56 GMT
China executes child traffickers
A child in a cardboard box in Beijing
There is a thriving black market in babies in China
Three people have been executed in China for illegally trafficking children, state media has reported.

The three - a woman and two men - were convicted in August of abducting and selling 11 young boys, according to Xinhua news agency.

China has recently cracked down on child traffickers, handing out a series of heavy jail terms and several death sentences in the past few months.

But the trafficking of humans remains a serious problem.

Poverty-stricken Yunnan province is one of the worst areas for human trafficking.

Police say they have arrested hundreds of suspects since 2000, who are alleged to be responsible for kidnapping nearly 5,000 women and children.

The three people who were executed on Friday were killed in Kunming, Yunnan province, where the young boys were abducted.

Two of the accused reportedly took the boys - all either two or three years old, from villages in Huize county between 2001 and 2003.

They then sold the children for up to 3,500 Yuan ($420) to the other accused man, who in turn trafficked them to Fujian province for 11,000 Yuan ($1,300) each.

Seven of the boys have since been found by police, but the other four are still missing, Xinhua reported.

China holds 110 'baby smugglers'
07 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China executes baby smuggler
24 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China acts to protect baby girls
15 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific

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