Updated 9:12 AM EST, Tue, Jan 05, 2021

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Chinese Police Bust Sex Slave Ring That Preyed on Mentally Ill

Chinese police have reportedly busted two gangs for abducting mentally handicapped women and selling them as sex slaves for as much as 10,000 to 20,000 yuan ($1,634 to $3,268).

Police in Dingyuan county in eastern China's Anhui Province said the two gangs held the women in a local village, where they raped beat them before being selling the victims off to farmers, reports Business Standard.

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Four women were rescued by the police, who arrested seven suspects, including the two of leaders of the gang, identified by only the surnames Kong and Zhang, according to Anhui Business Daily.

The women had been abducted from Nanjing, Chuzhou, Hefei, and Bengbu by gang members and transferred to an agent surnamed Yan, said the police. Yan held the women in a makeshift "cell" with no windows, a narrow door and two palm-sized holes on the walls, reports

Police were led to the gangs by a tip from a woman who told them that she had been kidnapped and taken to Dingyuan, where she was sold to a father and a son. The father and son reportedly confessed to police, who arrested the agent Yan. Upon apprehending Yan, the police found papers in his house that included buyers' numbers, sales contracts and letters of guarantee.

Yan had left a paper trail for the police when he started requiring buyers to sign contracts after several of them returned the women because of their mental disabilities.

This is not the first time women in East China have been kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. According to the police, gangs have abducted no fewer than 10 women from Anhui and nearby Jiangsu province over the past five years.

"Women who appeared in railway stations alone were more likely to be targets," said the police.

Zhang reportedly confessed to the crimes, saying that to better control the abducted women, they would keep at most three women in one room, where "it was impossible to escape."

The victims told police that if they tried to escape, they were beaten savagely. "After I was sold to someone, the buyer also beat up and sexually assaulted me," said one victim. 

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