Chinese hospital chief detained over alleged sales of fake birth certificates

China's state media says the head of a hospital in the inland province of Hubei is under investigation over alleged sales of fake birth certificates used for human trafficking -- a serious social problem in China.

The media reported on Tuesday the detention of the hospital director by the authorities in Xiangyang City.

The Hubei authorities launched an investigation following a claim by a whistleblower that the director had sold fake birth certificates in collaboration with dealers to register kidnapped children.

In a social media post, the whistleblower quoted dealers as saying they could obtain fake birth certificates by paying 96,000 yuan, or about 13,000 dollars.

Human trafficking is a serious social problem in China, with women and children being the main targets. In rural areas, there is a preference for boys who can work on farms or become family successors.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate says 3,152 people have been indicted over the last two years on charges of kidnapping and trafficking women and children.