|Mia Ren |||Mar 29, 2017 09:00 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) What children should be doing: A young Chinese boy hangs from bars while exercising with his mother at a park on September 17, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Two women in Shanghai are facing jailtime for renting young children from their own parents to carry out illegal activities.
A Shanghai court ruled against two women from Yongzhou, Song Yinxiu and Song Yincui, for paying parents to rent their children to them. They paid 50,000 yuan to the parents of four children, ages ranging from 7 to 10, in Daoxian, a county in Hunan province.
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After taking the children to Shanghai, the women forced them to steal cash and other items from stores and supermarkets, totaling to almost 20,000 yuan, from March to May 2016. The two Songs, who are not related to each other, received three and a half years in prison. This is the first time anyone was charged of violating public security since it was passed into law in 2009.
According to prosecutors, the parents know what their children will be doing. A 7-year-old victim told police that her two brothers ages 6 and 8 were also "rented" out to gangs of thieves.
Wei Guilian, a communications officer at the Qingpu District People's Court which heard the case, said that those who committed such crimes were charged with theft, which carries a lighter sentence.
"Sometimes these people teach their children to steal and sometimes they borrow other people's children," she added. The young victims were sent to a children's welfare center in Jiading district until the investigation is completed. They will then be returned to their parents.
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