Beijing, China (CNN) -- Chinese authorities arrested dozens in an alleged child trafficking ring that sold at least 52 babies nationwide, state media said.
Nineteen boys and 33 girls were bought from impoverished rural families in Shanxi and Hebei provinces in the past two years, Xinhua news agency said.
The 42 suspects earned about $60,000 overall from the alleged trafficking, Xinhua said Friday.
The ring started crumbling after three men were arrested with a baby boy in their van, Xinhua said. The three said they had bought the baby from a woman and her daughter in Hebei, according to Xinhua.
The women had sold 12 other babies to the men, and were arrested, Xinhua said.
China has a one-child policy, forcing some parents to sell female babies in order to try for a boy, who are preferred traditionally.