Police in China have arrested a policeman for allegedly arranging the kidnapping of a 14-year-old schoolgirl, purportedly on the orders of her parents, according to a newspaper report Monday.
The paper said the girl was rescued last week in the eastern city of Qingdao after her mother, Wenjing Hu, sought police help when she found her daughter on the street.
There are thousands of so-called “qigong” or “yogurt” marriages in China each year, in which girls are kidnapped, smuggled to poor rural areas to be married and then later sent back to their families as a result of their “wisdom” and “good manners.” The practice is often employed by parents wanting to avoid the marriage expenses of having to pay dowries and find a suitable groom.
The Qingdao police said in a short statement Monday that they had arrested two suspects, including a policeman from the city’s anti-corruption squad.
According to local media reports, the girl’s parents already have five daughters and she was attending a dinner with her mom when she disappeared from the house.
The Sun, a Chinese tabloid, quoted a retired police officer identified only as Mr. Ma as saying that police began looking for her and found her on the street.
Mr. Ma told the paper that after she was abducted, the girl and her parents went back to the northeast city of Huangshan, where they would be released. He said they went back only because they recognized Mr. Hu as a policeman from a previous arrest. Mr. Hu initially denied any involvement and then changed his statement, he said.