Police had found signs of child slavery three years ago but did not stop it from "spreading", Zheng Baigang, deputy director of the Public Security Ministry's supervision department, said yesterday. His remarks were reported by the South China Morning Post. "We found these problems in brick kilns in [Henan] in 2004 and the problem was solved in the province under the instructions of our leaders," Zheng said. "[Forced child labor] spread afterwards but we have not received any reports of such situations. … Have the police taken action? This is what we have to find out." The police said they are looking for 20 suspects connected to the recent Shanxi slave labor case and evaluating possible dereliction of duty by police officers. At least six people related to the case are currently being held by the police.