A court has sentenced a woman to eight years in prison for luring and selling a 13-year-old girl as a bride in China.
Lang Thi Lien, 35, was found guilty of trafficking children by a court in Nghe An Province in central Vietnam on Monday.
Lien went to China in 2013, got married there to a local man and has a child.
In 2016 she visited her hometown in Nghe An’s Con Cuong District and offered to take a neighbor’s daughter, then 13, to work in China. She told the neighbors she needed the girl to babysit her child, promised to pay them VND80 million ($3,400) and a monthly salary for the girl.
Since the girl had dropped out of school and her family was poor, her parents agreed.
In January 2017 Lien took the girl to Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, crossed the border into China and promptly sold her to a man in Hebei Province for VND210 million ($9,000).
She then sent VND80 million to the girl’s parents as promised but told them the girl had got married to a Chinese man without providing any further information.
The girl’s mother asked her friend, who had been to China several times, to find the girl. The woman managed to track down the girl and was bringing her back to Vietnam when Lien confronted them.
She threatened to harm both if the girl’s family failed to pay 110,000 yuan (VND380 million).
The girl and the rescuer’s families complained to the police.
With help from the Chinese police and Blue Dragon, a Hanoi-based non-profit working with street children and trafficking victims, the girl and her rescuer were safely brought back to Vietnam in September 2017.
The Vietnamese police arrested Lien two months later when she visited home.
Vietnam recorded over 3,000 human trafficking cases involving almost 7,000 victims between 2010 and the end of last year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
Some 4,500 traffickers were involved and the victims were mostly women and children from poor and rural areas.
A majority were sold to men seeking brides or just women to bear their children in China, Malaysia and South Korea, or forced into prostitution.