Police in Lao Cai Province bordering China have detained two leaders of a ring that smuggled 40 Chinese nationals into Vietnam since April.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, 49, and Nguyen Trinh Van Hung, 48, were arrested on Thursday night and put under criminal investigation for brokering and organizing illegal entry.
Nhan told that police that in April she met a Chinese man who asked her to help transport Chinese nationals across the border at Lao Cai to HCMC to seek work.
The Chinese man agreed to pay Nhan VND25 million ($1,076) per trip. She then contacted Hung who hired cars from Nha Trang in central Vietnam to pick up the Chinese immigrants 1,500 km away in Lao Cai.
Nhan paid Hung VND23 million ($990) per trip and kept the remainder.
Both admitted to police they had carried out six trips in total, using seven-seater cars to transport five Chinese nationals per time from Lao Cai to HCMC since early April until the ring was busted Monday, with 10 Chinese detained in Lao Cai.
Police are expanding the investigation.
Recent crackdowns against illegal Chinese immigrants came after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the Ministry of Public Security to investigate the illegal entry of foreigners to Vietnam, following Saturday morning’s confirmation of the first Covid-19 community transmission in 100 days.
To curb the spread of Covid-19, Vietnam has banned entry by foreign nationals since March 22 with exceptions and conditions, including 14-day quarantine on arrival.
Earlier this week, three men in southern Tay Ninh Province and two in Lao Cai were arrested for helping Chinese nationals illegally enter Vietnam.
Last Saturday, a Chinese man was arrested for his involvement in a ring smuggling Chinese nationals into Da Nang and neighboring Quang Nam Province. Authorities have found 73 Chinese nationals illegally entering both localities over the past few days.
With 45 new cases confirmed on Friday, the country now has 509 patients, 373 of whom have recovered.
The article was originally published in Vnexpress