Yunlin, A married couple in Yunlin County were each sentenced to five-years in jail Wednesday by the local district court for selling two of their children, though the verdict can still be appealed.
Although the couple claimed they sold the children because they were poor, the husband and wife, both in their 30s, were found guilty and given three years and four years for each count of a child, according to the court verdict.
However, after taking their economic difficulties into consideration the court ruled that the couple should serve only five years behind bars. The money they made from selling their children will be confiscated.
A middleman, identified as Kuo Chen-kang (郭鎮綱), who brokered the sale of the two children to a man surnamed Lin (林), received a two-year jail term, suspended for four years.
He was also ordered to pay NT$200,000 (US$6,622) within six months of the ruling.
Meanwhile, charges against Lin were dropped after he died.
According to the court’s presiding judge Wang Shao-ming (王紹銘), the couple led a hard life, with the husband doing errands to support the family. They had four children, two girls and two boys since 2008, and were listed as a low-income family in 2015.
They had a fifth child, a boy, in 2016, who Kuo helped them sell to Lin for NT$500,000, with the process being legally ratified through the adoption process, the court said.
After Lin expressed interest in buying a second child, Kuo approached the couple and asked them to have another child for which a payment of NT$800,000 was agreed. In addition, Lin also paid the woman NT$20,000 a month before she gave birth to a girl, who he later also adopted, it said.
Although the couple can appeal their sentence and the wife has indicated she plans to seek the return of the children, they currently remain in the custody of Lin’s wife.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel