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Six men get death for selling brides to farmers

The Straits Times, 24 September 2000

BEIJING -- China has sentenced six men to death for kidnapping 240 women and selling them to farmers desperate for wives, in one of the country's biggest cases of human trafficking.

The men were sentenced by a court in China's eastern Jiangsu province on Friday, along with 12 of their accomplices, who were handed sentences of six years in prison to life imprisonment, the China News Service said.

The case is considered the biggest case of kidnapping and selling of women, it said.

The defendants headed a gang of about 90 members who kidnapped women from the southern provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou and took them to Jiangsu, where they were handed over to 20 peasant gang members.

The gangsters then sold the women to peasants.

The kidnappings began in 1992.

The women, ranging from age 16 to 22, were tricked into thinking the kidnappers could find jobs for them. Several of them were raped by the gang members.

Trafficking in women has become a common practice in China where many poor farmers are unable to marry because they cannot afford to pay a dowry and women prefer to marry into better-off families or move to the city to work. --AFP