|Zheng Chengze, a 2-year-old kidnap victim, receives treatment for pneumonia on Saturday in Wu’an, Hebei province. He was found crying alone the day after he disappeared, at a bus station in Wu’an, more than 300 km from where he went missing in Zhengzhou, Henan province. [For China Daily]|
An abducted 2-year-old boy was found in a city 300 km from where he disappeared the day before, alarming parents with traffickers' rapid transport of abducted children far from their homes.
Cheng Fen, the boy's mother, left her home in Hubei province after arguing with her husband on Feb 26. She went with the boy to Zhengzhou, Henan province, but he disappeared on a busy street at 2 pm.
"I went and bought snacks for my son, who didn't want to stay in my arms but sat on the stairs nearby. He was gone in a minute," she said.
Unable to find the child, the family reported him missing to police. They spread leaflets with his photograph and posted information online.
The boy was found crying alone at a bus station in Wu'an, Handan, in Hebei province, more than 300 km from Zhengzhou. A vendor working at the station called police after he noticed the boy and suspected he was lost.
The boy was reunited with his family three days later, when a family acquaintance named Liang who read about the case on the Internet recognized the boy on television and called the mother.
No traffickers have been found. The case remains under investigation.
"The boy was probably abducted and then abandoned," said Qin Xiaogang, a publicity official with the police bureau in Wu'an, who added that the boy had pneumonia and a bad cough when he was found.
"The trafficking gangs usually build smooth channels to take abducted children out of their cities and provinces quickly, within hours in many cases. So parents need to take action within the first hours," said Zhang Zhiwei, a Beijing lawyer specializing in child trafficking cases.
The first 24 hours is the best time to find missing children, and success requires full cooperation between the parents and police, he said.
The most effective way to reduce human trafficking is for parents and guardians to pay close attention to their children, he said.
"In many cases, abducted children are found far away, and it often takes years," said Zhang Baoyan, founder of a website that posts information about missing children.
Zhang Baoyan said a girl who was abducted from her home in a small village in Shaanxi province was sold to a family in neighboring Henan province, at least 100 km away, within three hours.
"I think it was the wide spread of information that quickened the reunion in this case," she said, adding that on average, a new piece of information will show up on her website every day.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, from January 2012 to October, about 1,240 trafficking gangs were broken up and 17,871 suspects detained. Police rescued 14,971 kidnapped children and 9,156 abducted women.
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