Couple caught trying to smuggle newborn to China

By Phan Anh   August 25, 2019 | 11:48 pm PT
Couple caught trying to smuggle newborn to China
Nguyen Ngoc Tram (R) is questioned by police in the northern Lang Son Province for trying to smuggle a baby boy to China, August 25, 2019. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.
Two people were arrested in Lang Son Province Sunday while trying to smuggle a one-month-old baby boy to China.

Ngo Duy Khang, 28, and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram, 22, were found carrying a baby on a path near the border in the northern province's Loc Binh District, local media reported.

The man and woman confessed to having received the baby from a woman named Chau at a general hospital in the southern province of Dong Nai. They also gave Chau over VND10 million ($434) to make a birth certificate for the baby with Tram and Khang as his parents. The baby boy was born on July 30.

They planned to take the boy to China and give him to an unidentified man for VND50 million ($2,170). However, while they were trying to cross the border, they were arrested by Lang Son border guards.

The baby has been transferred to a local social welfare center and an investigation launched into the case.

5.6 percent of children in Vietnam were either trafficking victims or exposed to trafficking risks, according to a report released earlier this month by London-based research institution Coram International and UNICEF.

About 80 percent of human trafficking victims in Vietnam end up in China, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Most of the trafficking cases are from northern border provinces such as Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Dien Bien and Quang Ninh, and most of the victims are either women or children.

In its 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report issued in June, the U.S. said Vietnam has not fully met the minimum standards of the U.S.’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 but is making significant efforts to comply, including running awareness campaigns among vulnerable communities.

The lack of interagency coordination and provincial officials' lack of familiarity with anti-trafficking laws and victim protection, however, continue to impede anti-trafficking efforts, it said.

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