Three prosecuted for smuggling Chinese into Vietnam

By Nguyen Dong   August 19, 2020 | 05:00 am PT
Three prosecuted for smuggling Chinese into Vietnam
Two Chinese nationals (R) who stayed in Da Nang illegally are questioned by the police in July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dong Chi.
A Chinese man and two Vietnamese women are awaiting trial for illegally bringing three Chinese into central Da Nang City.

Chinese Chen Xian Fa, 27, and two Vietnamese, Ho Thu Trinh, 24, and Huynh Ngoc Diem, 41, were charged Tuesday with "organizing illegal entry to Vietnam" in accordance with the Penal Code.

According to the indictment, police in Da Nang inspected a house in Ngu Hanh Son District on July 11.

There they found Chen and three other Chinese nationals. None carried passports or visas. No information regarding their entry was found on the Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Department system either.

Investigators discovered that on June 23, when Chen was still in China, he had contacted Trinh on China’s messaging and social media app WeChat, asking her to find him a house with three rooms for rent in Da Nang so he could bring three Chinese along to Vietnam. Chen knew Trinh after she advertised houses for rents on social media in 2018.

Trinh and Diem, fully aware the Chinese group had no legal papers to enter Vietnam, proceeded with the plan.

Diem found the rented house at 39 Duong Tu Giang Street, striking a deal to pay VND19 million ($820) per month.

The two women then raised the rent to VND23 million a month and shared the extra money. A three month agreement was then struck with the Da Nang landlord on the phone. He was out of the city for vacation and told the group where to find the key, investigation found, suggesting that he was not aware the deal involved illegal Chinese entrants.

Chen arranged to meet with the other three Chinese before traveling by bus to northern Lang Son Province on the night of June 28. The four then crossed over the border using an unmarked path. A seven-seat car organized by Diem and Trinh subsequently took them to Da Nang.

Chen charged the three Chinese 4,000 yuan ($580) each.

On the night of June 29, the entire Chinese group was taken by Trinh to the rented house.

During the time the four Chinese nationals remained in Da Nang, Trinh and Diem helped them buy food and essential products until the ring got busted by police.

When the investigation was launched on July 21, the Chinese said they had entered Vietnam to trade in seafood.

But police found they had brought along 14 laptops, 31 cellphones, and related components to the rented house.

In recent years, Da Nang police had solved several cases in which Chinese have broken into Vietnam for online gambling purposes.

Culprits were reported to have hired a house, using scores of laptops and cellphones along with their own wireless router to ensure a private internet feed.

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