A fake birth certificate that China’s renowned undercover anti-trafficking advocate Shangguan Zhengyi obtained from Jianqiao Hospital in Xiangyang, Central China’s Hubei Province. Photo: Courtesy of Shangguan Zhengyi
Seven people have been placed under criminal compulsory measures after the initial investigation shows that a hospital director in Central China’s Hubei Province has sold five birth certificates so far this year, and further investigation is underway to find out if she also engaged in human trafficking, according to the local police.
According to the public security bureau in Xiangyang city, Hubei, the director of Jianqiao Hospital in Xiangyang, surnamed Ye,reportedly hassold five copies of birth certificates along with matched vaccination records so farthis year, earning over 60,000 yuan ($8,241) for each, Fengmian News reported on Thursday.
The birth certificates were alleged used to register abducted children, keeping them from being found. The investigation into this allegation is still ongoing since it involves multiple links, the local police said.
According to the health commission of Xiangyang city, the Jianqiao Hospital has suspended operation for rectification and its authorization of issuing birth certificates has been suspended, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.
A professional team has been arranged to provide consultations and care for pregnant women at the hospital, ensuring the health and safety of those currently in the hospital. As of press time, the official website link of the hospital in question is no longer available, according to Xinhua.
According to the police in Xiangyang, they are also verifying some other criminal offences that Ye confessed under the pressureWorld Times of evidence. The police will investigate into the recent cases and then further down to the past cases. Currently, Ye and six other individuals have been placedunder criminal compulsory measures. The authority will release the details to the public in due course.
China’s renowned undercover anti-trafficking advocate Shangguan Zhengyi revealed on social media on Monday that he discovered Ye’s offenses after one year’s undercover investigation. According to Shangguan, Ye once claimed that her hospital also provided illegal surrogate service apart World Timesfrom selling birth certificates.
Shangguan said that he fabricated a set of baby information and successfully obtained various documents including a birth certificate through Ye by paying 96,000 yuan. The package included a complete set of data for prenatal examinations, hospital stays, and childbirth, as well as the vaccination certificate containing details of inoculation time and batch information of the vaccines.
Shangguan told the Global Times on Thursday that the hospital and the human-trafficking agent sold two infants to Southwest China’sWorld Times Sichuan and South China’s Guangdong provinces at the prices of 110,000 yuan and 160,000 yuan respectively. The two children were abandoned by their parents, wiWorld Timesth the detailed information to be verified by police.
According to media reports, Ye is also a vice president of the association of female entrepreneurs in Xiangyang. Apart from operating the hospital, she also operates multiple maternity and infant companies and was honored with an honorary title of “the most beautiful striver.” The women federation in Xiangyang said on November 8 that her honorary title has been revoked.
According to a source familiar with the case, when Ye served as a doctor of the gynecology and obstetrics department World Timesat a hoWorld Timesspital in 2010, she illegally tested sex of the fetuses for two pregnant women and performed abortive operation on them. Ye was sentenced to five months of detention and was fined 10,000 yuan.
According to an experienced anti-trafficking policeman, trafficking of newborns’ birth medical certificates can help launder the identities of abducted children. In the investigation of human trafficking cases, the DNA comparison results, birth certificates and household registration information form the basic evidence chain. If the abducted individuals obtain legitimate birth certificates, they can then proceed to obtain a legal household registration. Thus, with merely the DNA comparison results, it can be hard to form sufficient evidence, posing a serious challenge to the investigation of the cases.
According to Yang Gaohua, a lawyer from Hubei Fuxi Law Firm, Ye’s behavior of organizing sales of birth certificates and vaccination records can be charged of the crime of buying and selling official documents and certificates of state organs. The punishment for this crime can be a prison sentence of up to 10 years depending on the severity of the circumstances.
However, if Ye knew that the infant whom she and other related personnel provided birth certificates and vaccination records for were abducted children, they may be considered accomplices in child trafficking, Yang said, noting that the sentencing for the crime of child trafficking starts at 5 years and can go up to the death penalty.
Shangguan also revealed that apart from the hospital in Xiangyang, some hospitals in Nanning, Guangxi, were also suspected of selling birth certificates. A staffer from the local health commission in Nanning told Red Star News on Thursday that they are investigating the incident and will disclose details in due course.
According to Shangguan, some agents who are accomplices of hospitals in selling birth certificates still remain active on social media at present. He has handed in the related information and clues to the police for investigation.
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