Tuesday, September 09, 2008

China: murder for corpse trade

Via ICAD: Reuters is reporting that approximately seven members of a Chinese gang in Puning, Guangdon province, have been arrested in connection with the murder of at least 100 people with disabilities so as to sell their corpses on the black market. Other sources suggest that the total number of people murdered is around 400. According to the report, the scheme has been allegedly selling the bodies of victims to wealthy families with deceased relatives who then cremate the victim in place of the relative. The family will bury the relative later, according to traditional customs.

According to a Reuters Africa report:

The killers would trail their victims, usually mentally disabled or elderly people, “drag them into vehicles in remote areas and either strangle or poison them”, the newspaper said.

An unnamed police officer from Puning, in southern Guangdong province, said about seven suspects were arrested three weeks ago when police discovered the gang while investigating a homicide, the Post said.

'Corpses would sell for 10,000 yuan (818 pounds) each, it said, without specifying the charges against those being held.

Hong Kong's Apple Daily reports that the number of victims is around 400:

As many as 400 people may have been killed, according to Apple Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper which conducted an investigation into the practice.

The victims were usually followed and then strangled in the rural areas of Yangmei, Nanxi, Puning and Jieyang and then sold in the Chaoshan Region, a rich urbanised part of the province.

According to one villager, Liu Shiduo, a young couple had been attacked with a rope on the evening of August 11 but had got away from their attackers and reported them to the police. During the subsequent raids, one suspect revealed the operation. The rest of the group was rounded up on the basis of his confession.

ICAD's entire post can be read here...