BEIJING – China's Ministry of Public Security says police have arrested 802 people on suspicion of child trafficking and rescued 181 children in a major operation spanning 15 provinces.
The ministry says in a statement posted on its official website Friday that the operation broke up two trafficking rings and that the ring leaders were arrested.
It says the national operation was set up earlier this year after local police spotted trafficking signs, including frequent appearances of out-of-town pregnant women in a clinic in north China's Hebei province.
Trafficking in children is a big problem in China, where its strict one-child policy has driven a thriving market in babies.
In fighting the crime, Chinese courts usually mete out harsh punishments -- including the death sentence -- to convicted child traffickers.