Mother, daughter rescued 5 years after being trafficked to China

By Minh Nga   October 2, 2023 | 07:36 pm PT
Mother, daughter rescued 5 years after being trafficked to China
Hoang Thi Len (L) at a police station in Dak Lak Province for allegedly trafficking a woman and her child to China. Photo by police
Police in Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands have arrested a woman for allegedly trafficking a woman and her child to China in 2018.

Hoang Thi Len, 38, is being held for questioning, they said Sunday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

S., a native of the northern Cao Bang Province, moved to live in Ea Sup District in Dak Lak after her marriage in 2014.

There she got acquainted with Len, a local.

In 2018 S. told her husband and his family that she would visit her family in Cao Bang along with Len, and took her year-old daughter along.

She never returned.

In August this year S. reached out to her sister on Wechat, a Chinese messaging and social media app.

She said Len had tricked and sold her to a man in China as his bride.

She said she got beaten constantly and was forced to work hard.

The sister reported the information to the police.

A task force was set up with officers from the Ministry of Public Security, Dak Lak police and border guards in the north.

On September 17 they managed to rescue S. and her daughter and brought them back to Dak Lak.

They later arrested Len.

She told the police that she had got in touch with a woman named Co in China on Wechat.

Co told her a local man was looking for a Vietnamese wife and to look for such a woman.

Len tricked S. and sold her and her daughter for 4,000 yuan (US$550).

The police are expanding the investigation.

Many details are still sketchy and it is not known if S. had children with the Chinese man and what Len told S.'s family on her return to Ea Sup without her.

According to government data, in the first half of this year 229 people were arrested in 88 cases of human trafficking that involved 224 victims, up from 55 cases and 154 victims in the same period last year.

The trafficking of women to China as brides is not rare given the high demand there.

According to a New York Times story in July, due to the Chinese government's one-child policy, which it ended in 2016, and a traditional cultural preference for boys, China has around 35 million more men than women, which has fueled a competition for brides.

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