A Vietnamese woman and two relatives in central Vietnam will spend 5-6 years in jail for human trafficking.
A court in the central province of Nghe An on Wednesday sentenced Vi Thi Que, 54, to five years in jail for trafficking her 23-year-old daughter-in-law, Vi Thi Thao*, to China as a bride for another man.
Que’s relatives, Vi Van Tuong and Vi Thi Tuyet, were given jail terms of five and six years respectively for the similar charge.
According to the indictment, Tuyet and Tuong asked Que to find a young girl to sell to China as bride in October 2016.
Knowing that her daughter-in-law needed money to look after her family, Que offered to take her to China via the border near Quang Ninh Province to find a well paid job.
However, Thao was tricked and sold to China to be a Chinese farmer’s wife for VND300 million ($12,878). Que received a commission of VND80 million ($3,400) from this service.
More than a year after she was trafficked, Thao battled her way back home with the assistance of a Ho Chi Minh City-based lawyer and Blue Dragon, an NGO working for street children and trafficking victims, who reported Thao’s case to the Vietnamese police and helped with the rescue operation.
Finally, Thao was reunited with her family on March 9 this year.
In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered the defendants to pay VND76 million to Thao in compensation.
Vietnam recorded 670 human trafficking victims last year, down almost half from 1,128 in 2016.
Most of the victims were uneducated women and children from poor areas.
They were sold to men seeking wives in China, Malaysia and South Korea, or just to bear children or work as prostitutes in these countries.
Many of the children were approached through social networks like Facebook and Zalo, Vietnam’s popular messaging app.
Besides financial difficulties of the victims, police officers have said that negligence, easy immigration procedures and gender imbalance in destination countries are responsible for the surge in human trafficking.
*The victim’s name has been changed for her protection.