Police stop woman from selling sister to China in nick of time

By Duc Hung   January 16, 2024 | 12:05 am PT
Police stop woman from selling sister to China in nick of time
Ven Thi Hoai (R) and Cut Thi Ngoc at a trial in Nghe An Province, Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hung Le
A woman in central Vietnam has been imprisoned for tricking her parents into selling her 13-year-old sister so that a Chinese man could marry her.

A court in Nghe An Province sentenced Ven Thi Hoai, 21, and Cut Thi Ngoc, 27, to 12 years in jail each for "trading people under 16."

According to the verdict, Ngoc and Hoai used to work together at a factory in the northern Thai Binh Province.

In October 2022, Ngoc told Hoai that there was an acquaintance in China asking her to find Vietnamese wives for Chinese men.

The acquaintance promised her high payments for every successful arranged marriage.

Hoai told Ngoc that she had a younger sister, who was then 13, that could be suitable for the business. Ngoc agreed and sent Hoai VND4.5 million as a deposit.

She promised an extra payment of VND30 million for Hoai and a sum of VND120 million for her family once the arrangement was complete.

In June last year, Hoai returned home in Nghe An and convinced her parents to allow her to take the younger sister to work at a company in the north. She assured her parents that the sister would have the opportunity "to carry out an easy job with high payment."

Around that time, another girl who was friends with Hoai's younger sister, 14 at the time, also asked for her parents' permission to go to work with her friend.

After that, Hoai called Ngoc, informing her of the two candidates she had found and requested a payment of VND60 million aside from a sum of VND240 million for the two families. Ngoc agreed to pay her later.

In July 2023, Hoai took the two girls onto a passenger bus in Nghe An to transport them to localities at the northern border. Before Hoai could reach the border, police approached her and summoned her to the nearest police station as she showed suspicious signs.

Hoai later admitted to the police she was on her way to selling the girls to China. Learning about Hoai’s detention, Ngoc turned herself in.

The issue of Chinese men trying to buy wives, often from neighboring countries, has been an ongoing problem for the continent.

One of the primary reasons for this trend is the significant gender imbalance in China, largely a result of the one-child policy implemented from 1979 to 2015 and a cultural preference for male children. This has led to a surplus of men in China, making it difficult for many to find local partners.

Women from neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for marriage. Traffickers often deceive girls and women from poor families in rural areas with promises of employment or a better life in China, only to force them into marriage.

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