BEIJING : China this month arrested more than 1,000 people suspected of involvement in baby-trafficking, in a police operation which also rescued 382 infants, local media reported on Friday. A total of 1,094 suspects involved in four baby trafficking rings were detained in a nationwide operation which began on February 19, the Beijing News daily said, citing a police statement. China has a flourishing underground child trafficking industry, for which tens of thousands of children are believed to be stolen each year, with demand fuelled by a one-child limit combined with a traditional preference for sons.

Police were alerted after investigating a series of adoption websites which were found to be fronts for child traffickers, the Beijing News report said.