Two Nghe An women are being investigated for selling two 15-year-old girls to Chinese men for VND280 million ($12,000).
Ngan Thi Dua, 31, and Vi Thi Hoai Thanh, 39, residents of Tuong Duong District in the north central Nghe An Province, could face charges of human trafficking of people under 16, an offense punishable with seven years to life in jail.
According to the police, five years ago, Dua convinced the two girls, yet to turn 16, to work in China for “high salaries.” Then she contacted Thanh, who took the girls to Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, crossed the border and sold the girls to two Chinese men.
The girls then became “wives” of those two men. Early this year, when one of the girls was allowed by her “husband” to return to Vietnam after five years to visit her family, she reported their abduction to the police. Thanh and Dua were arrested late last month, police said Saturday.
It has been reported that Vietnamese girls and women are often sold to Chinese men who are either old or poor to afford a local wife, and that some poor women are even lured to sell newborns to Chinese persons.
As of going to press, however, there was no information on whether the two girls have borne children for their Chinese “husbands.” Other details of their ordeal have also not been revealed.
Under Vietnamese law, having sexual intercourse with children aged 13-16 is a serious offense punishable with a jail term of up to 15 years.
Data from the Ministry of Public Security said between 2010 and the third quarter of last year, Vietnam recorded over 3,000 human trafficking cases, in which 4,500 traffickers traded almost 7,000 victims, mostly women and children in poor and rural areas.
A majority of them were sold to men seeking wives in China, Malaysia and South Korea, or just to bear children or forced into prostitution. Many of the children were approached through social networks like Facebook and Zalo. Besides financial difficulties of the victims, police officers have said that negligence, easy immigration procedures and gender imbalance in destination countries are responsible for a surge in human trafficking.