Vietnam border guards have deported 21 Chinese nationals who had illegally sneaked into the country after they completed a 14-day quarantine.
On Saturday afternoon police in the central province of Quang Nam, where the Chinese were found staying in a residential area last month, handed them over to border guards at the Huu Nghi border gate in Lang Son, and they were sent home the same day.
On July 18, acting on tip-offs from locals, officers raided a luxury apartment block in Quang Nam’s Dien Ban Town and found the illegal Chinese, some of whom tried to escape.
However, all were rounded up and sent to quarantine, where they tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
They were reportedly smuggled into Vietnam by a gang with members from both countries. They intended to look for jobs in Da Nang that borders Quang Nam.
Earlier police in Quang Nam had arrested a Chinese man identified as Gao Liang Gu and a Vietnamese woman Luong Thuy Dung for their involvement with a ring smuggling Chinese nationals to Da Nang and nearby Quang Nam Province. The investigation into that case has been expanded.
Vietnam closed its borders and suspended all international flights on March 25, after halting visa issuance on March 18.
Since June public security officers and border guards have found 21 cases involving 177 illegal Chinese entrants, and launched criminal investigations into five cases.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had ordered the Ministry of Public Security to investigate the illegal entry by foreigners into Vietnam following the first case of local transmission of Covid-19 in 100 days on July 25.
A Quang Ninh court in northern Vietnam sentenced six men to between two and six years in jail last week for smuggling Chinese nationals into the country.
By Dac Thanh @ VNExpress