14/08/2014 16:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Doctor Stole Newborn Babies And Sold Them To Child Traffickers

AFP/Getty Images
Zhang Shuxia (C), a Chinese former obstetrician, is escorted by two police officers in Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, north China's Shaanxi province on January 14, 2014. Zhang was given a suspended death sentence on January 14 for abducting newborn babies and selling them to traffickers, in a case that drew widespread outrage. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

In a story that almost beggars belief, a woman doctor stole newborn babies and sold them to traffickers.

Obstetrician Zhang Shuxia broke the hearts of elated new mums by telling them that the babies they had just delivered were suffering from serious diseases.

She then persuaded the mothers, who were perhaps terrified of the consequences of China's one-child, to give up their newborns for adoption.

But instead, the evil doctor sold the babies to child traffickers in China: £2,255 for females and £5,240 for males.

The heartbreaking story has emerged from Fuping, Shaanxi province where Zhang has been found guilty of abducting seven babies.

A court imposed the death penalty, though it was suspended for two years and could be commuted to life imprisonment.

It was further revealed that police are still probing 50 other cases of baby-stealing, with 26 linked to Zhang.

Weinan Intermediate People's Court heard that a pair of twins were also involved in the seven baby-thefts and sold to child traffickers between November 2011 and July 2013.

Six of the babies were rescued, but tragically one baby girl had died.

On its website, the court said: "Zhang used her position as medical personnel to fabricate reports about the infants, saying they suffered from birth defects or diseases that were hard to cure.

"She abducted and sold several new-born infants, violating professional and social ethics."

Several other suspects were in criminal detention, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Four other officials from the hospital are on trial for suspected dereliction of duty and are awaiting sentencing.

China's strict population control policies, couples can only have one child, with parents preferring strong healthy baby boys.

But earlier this month, China relaxed the country's one-child policy to allow couples to have two children if either parent was an only child.

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