Frenchman prohibited from leaving Vietnam after ignoring court order on child custody

By Ky Hoa   September 25, 2018 | 10:46 am GMT+7

Vietnamese authorities have slapped a travel ban on a French national until he hands over their baby daughter to his Vietnamese ex-girlfriend.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Civil Judgments Enforcement said Tuesday it has banned a 43-year-old man it identified only as Azais from leaving the country until he complied with the orders of French and HCMC courts to hand over custody of his daughter.

"Before taking more drastic measures, enforcement officers would ask the Department of Foreign Affairs to work with the French consulate to encourage and convince Mr. Azais to comply with the court ruling," Vu Quoc Doanh, the head of the department, said.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen holds her daughter in France after a 15-month separation as her French partner left HCMC with the girl. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen holds her daughter in France after a 15-month separation as her French partner left HCMC with the girl. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Azais used to live with Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, 33, in HCMC, but they broke up when she was six months pregnant. She gave birth to Sarah in August 2014.

Azais went to the French consulate to obtain a birth certificate and French passport for Sarah, and traveled back to France with her, causing Huyen to start a legal battle for the child’s custody in that country.

In June 2016 a court in Albi in southern France ruled in favor of Huyen and ordered Azais to return Sarah to her mother. Following the ruling, Azais returned to HCMC with the child but still refused to hand her over to Huyen.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen fails to see her daughter at Azais house in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen fails to see her daughter at Azais' house in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo acquired by VnExpress

After being repeatedly prevented from seeing her daughter, Huyen appealed to the HCMC People's Court of Family and Minors to execute the French court's ruling.

In May 2017 it passed an order in Huyen's favor.

Azais appealed the decision, but last month it was rejected and he was ordered to comply with the French court's ruling.

The Department of Civil Judgments Enforcement ordered him on September 14 to hand over Sarah and her passport to Huyen, and imposed the travel ban three days later.

But he has yet to comply with this order, and refused to sign the court documents furnished by enforcement officers.

Doanh said: "From the time he receives or is officially informed [of the decision], Mr. Azais has 10 days to voluntarily comply with the judgment. If he has yet to hand over the girl to the mother at the end of this time, enforcement officers would issue an enforcement order.

"If he still refuses to comply, then enforcement officers will impose an administrative fine and punish him in accordance with the laws."

Upon the expiration of the set time limit, if these persons still fail to do so, enforcers shall coerce the consignment of minors or request competent agencies to examine their penal liability for the crime of failure to execute judgments.

Under the Penal Code, failure to obey court judgments is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to VND50 million ($2,140).

 
 
go to top