A man (now 35) who wanted a wife, and so bought a 17-year-old girl for some 20,000 Yuan from a local slave dealer, and then imprisoned her in his home, has been arrested, we hear.
He was apparently working away from home, when he spoke to a co-worker of his desire for a bride. The helpful co-worker replied “If you’re ok with paying, there are ‘brokers’ who’ll bring you a girl”. The man was pleased with this, and prepared $3,000 in cash.
Some days later the slave dealer returned with a girl, whom the man immediately appraised as a belle; he paid up on the spot, and took the girl home, very much against her will. You can probably hazard a guess as to what happened to her, though the report is silent on the details.
However, local residents sensed something was amiss, and tipped off police. The Harbin authorities reacted promptly, conducting a search and arresting the man, as well as rescuing the unfortunate ‘bride’. Her incarceration seems to have lasted some months, though the precise timeframe is unclear; she was bought in April, and arrested in August, so she likely endured confinement for all too long.
Need I remind you of how distressingly common this sort of practice is, even in parts of China supposedly more developed; from this case at least, we can infer that keeping slaves in a city is overstepping the mark, either that or he did not pay police enough.
Given that by some estimates China is set to have a gender imbalance of over a hundred million males, this problem may be less readily dealt with than is hoped.