Two South Koreans get 10 years for smuggling people into Vietnam

By Ngoc Truong   February 15, 2023 | 08:24 pm PT
Two South Koreans get 10 years for smuggling people into Vietnam
South Korean and Vietnamese defendants stand trial in Da Nang for smuggling people into Vietnam, February 15, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong
Two South Korean men have been sentenced to 10 years in jail for illegally bringing 189 South Koreans to Da Nang in breach of Covid safety regulations two years ago.

A Da Nang court on Wednesday found Lee Kwan Yuong, 55, and Seo Yuong Jin, 50, guilty of "organizing illegal entry into Vietnam."

Both live in the city and have companies there. Lee is also deputy chairman of the Association of South Korean People in central Vietnam.

To combat Covid, Vietnam closed its borders to most foreigners, only allowing in experts and skilled workers under certain conditions, including a guarantee from a locally based company.

But between December 2020 and March 2021 Lee and Seo used their own companies to bring in South Koreans seeking to enter Vietnam, organizing four flights for the purpose.

Lee earned more than VND1 billion (US$42,400) from it while Seo pocketed VND85 million.

The court also handed jail terms of up to nine years and probation of nine months to 22 others, both South Korean and Vietnamese.

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