Baby snatcher ‘steals’ boy from mother who fainted on the street

Chilling moment baby snatcher pushes a four-month-old boy across a road after ‘stealing’ him from his ill mother who had fainted on the street

  • Authorities in Henan, central China are still looking for the missing infant
  • Police said boy was ‘stolen’ from his mother who passed out due to hypokalemia
  • £5,670 will be rewarded to anyone with information leading to suspect’s capture 

Police in central China are searching for a four-month-old baby boy who was snatched from his mother in broad daylight.

Authorities in Zhoukou, Henan province said the infant was ‘stolen’ from his mother who had fainted on the street near a park at about 11:45am yesterday.

Chilling footage released by Chinese media of the purported child kidnapper shows the suspect pushing the child in a pram across a road after taking him from his unconscious mother. 

Chilling footage released by Chinese media purportedly shows an individual pushing the child in a pram across a road after taking him from his unconscious mother in Zhoukou, Henan

Authorities in Zhoukou, Henan province said the four-month-old infant was ‘stolen’ from his mother who had fainted on the street near a park at about 11:45am yesterday

A reward of 50,000 yuan (£5,670) will be given to anyone with information leading to the child’s discovery as well as the suspect’s capture, according to a statement released by Zhoukou police on their official Weibo account.

The woman was talking her child for a walk near Zhoukou Park on Wenchang Avenue when she passed out due to hypokalemia, a low level of potassium in a person’s blood, the police said. 

‘When she regained consciousness, she realised that her child is missing,’ the statement said, adding that an investigation had been launched. 

The child’s father, identified by his surname Zhu, accused the child snatcher of having ‘poor conscience’.

The mother was talking her child for a walk when she passed out due to hypokalemia, a low level of potassium in a person’s blood. Above, the suspect pushing the baby

The baby’s father, identified by his surname Zhu, accused the child snatcher of having ‘poor conscience’ as the person ignored the sick mother and ‘just took the child’ (pictured)

‘Honestly, the person completely disregarded the safety of the adult, didn’t even call emergency services and just took the child,’ the devastated father told Beijing News.

The father, who works in public security, said he believed that the incident wasn’t premeditated.

The incident angered many on social media, with net users calling for stiffer sentences for child kidnappers.

‘What? Not only did the person fail to call an ambulance after the mother passed out, they just took away her child! She should be severely punished!’ one top-rated comment read on Weibo. 

‘Sinner, what you took isn’t just money or any other object, it’s a human being! Please return the baby as soon as possible!’ one person said.  

The incident angered many on social media, with net users calling for stiffer sentences for child kidnappers. Currently, convicted buyers of human trafficking victims face no more than three years in prison

Child abduction and trafficking has long been a serious social problem in China, with an estimated 70,000 children going missing each year for forced labour, adoption or prostitution, according to a previous report by China Daily. 

Chinese courts ruled on 2,806 cases involving the abduction and trafficking of women and children between 2015 and 2018, according to the Supreme People’s Court cited by Global Times. 

Zhang Baoyan, a delegate to the 13th National People’s Congress, in March called for an amendment to the Chinese law to impose the death penalty on those convicted of trafficking women and children.

Zhang, who has been a long-time advocate for women’s and children’s rights in the country, also called for a stiffer punishment for buyers, who fuel the trade but are seldom held accountable. 

Currently, convicted buyers of human trafficking victims face no more than three years in prison.  

Why is child abduction a serious problem in China?

Around 200,000 boys and girls are reported to be missing every year in China

Child abduction is a serious problem in China, especially in rural areas. 

One major cause is that the Chinese families prefer sons to daughters, resulting in them buying baby boys. 

In addition, a severe gender gap – a result of four decades of one-child policy – has made it hard for Chinese men to find wives. Therefore, teenager girls are sometimes kidnapped and sold as child brides.

Child abduction remains a sensitive topic to the Chinese authorities. No official figures have been released on how many children are kidnapped in China every year.

However according to a 2016 report on Chinese news site Caijing, around 200,000 boys and girls are estimated to be missing every year. Among them, only 200, or 0.1 per cent, would be able to find their parents at some point of their lives.

A survey shows that around 64 per cent of the kidnapped children in China are boys

The report also claims that there are more than one million child beggars in China and most of them are abducted or forced to beg by their families.

Baobeihuijia, a website specialised in connecting families with their missing members, has conducted a survey on the kidnapped children in China based on 8,861 cases listed on their website. 

The survey shows that around 64 per cent of the kidnapped children are boys and more than 75 per cent of the kidnapped children are under the age of six.

However, among those who are abducted over the age of 13, there are more girls than boys.

The survey also claims that children under the age of four are most likely to be abducted in China.

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