Chapter 412: Child for Rent
Zhou Weiqi’s friends were people on the other side of the law; nothing happening in the city could escape their knowledge.
“Anyway, Sun Cuimei’s man, Don, is probably pissed with her. When they got together, she did not reveal to him that her husband was a man in the military. Apparently, she saw that he was rich and made up a story convincing that she was divorced. After Sergeant Ge’s incident, only then she confessed the truth. He was scared out of his wits; he wanted nothing to do with the military. Two days before Sun Cuimei took Ge Wenwen away, Don was seen interacting with a southern businessman called Phantom. Businessman’s just a title, his dealings are, let us just say, in conflict with the law.”
“Do you think that Sun Cuimei is actually selling her own daughter off?” Luo Ruoran came to the idea immediately after hearing the illegitimate business dealings of Phantom.
“Not that bad.” Zhou Weiqi shook his head. “Sun Cuimei and Don are planning to rent Ge Wenwen to Phantom. He has a lot of children working for him as beggars. They are usually from very poor families in the countryside. He would pay their parents a set amount of money as rental and bring their children to the big cities to work as panhandlers. Once the rental period is over, the children are returned to their parents.” Zhou Weiqi shrugged. “I believe they want to rent Ge Wenwen out to earn some money.”
“And she said she was her mother!” Jiang Yao replied sarcastically. “Ge Wenwen is almost six years old, what about school?”
“You know how it is still a very prevalent idea among people that girls should not get too much education. Rent them out for a few years and earn a couple hundred in cash. Imagine this, they are not paying for their daughters’ living cost, and the girls are well taken care of working as beggars. Once they reach the age of twelve, they are returned home and sent to school for three or so years, just for them to know how to read and count, you know, the basics. The girls will be fourteen or fifteen years old by then, the perfect time for them to work in factories and earn more money. And then they get married off when they are seventeen years old. Don’t forget the dowry, that is another sum of money.” Zhou Weiqi heard all these from his friends, who in turn, heard it from Phantom.
These were the thoughts of many people. Not just girls, many boys were also taken under his wing to beg in the cities.
In the poverty-stricken areas of the country, a family could have many children but no means to support them. Renting them out made monetary sense as they help ease the heavy financial burden on the families.
After all these years, Phantom had also earned quite a fortune, thanks to the children.
“Phantom left after renting two kids in Jin City. It seems like Don and Sun Cuimei were not able to rent Ge Wenwen out this time. My friends had people staking out around Don’s apartment and people that he frequently meets. It shouldn’t be a while before they return.” Zhou Weiqi meant to reassure Lu Xingzhi that Ge Wenwen would ultimately be returned to Sergeant Ge.
Listening to what Zhou Weiqi had to say, Lu Xingzhi raised his brows in deep thought. If not for the investigation into the whereabouts of Ge Wenwen, he never would have known an industry that subsisted on children begging existed in the world.