Woman jailed for helping gang smuggle people to Europe

By Nguyen Hai   August 28, 2020 | 08:22 pm PT
Woman jailed for helping gang smuggle people to Europe
Nguyen Thi Loan at the court in central Nghe An Province, August 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Hai.
A court in central Vietnam sentenced a local woman to two years in jail on Friday for advising people on how to illegally enter Europe.

Nguyen Thi Loan, 46, of Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province, was found guilty of "arranging for others to flee abroad."

An accomplice, Tran The Phuong, 51, also of Nghe An, got six months for the same crime.

In 2018 a "friend" in Hanoi introduced Loan to an illegal immigration gang disguised as a tourism service that smuggled people to Germany to work. It cost each person $16,500, and a part had to be paid in advance and the rest on reaching Germany.

The modus operandi was to first take them from Vietnam to Thailand as tourists, and after 10 days leave for a European country and then go on to Germany.

For every person going successfully to Germany, Loan got $1,000.

Early last year Loan and Phuong told two women in Nghe An and neighboring Ha Tinh Province about the scheme and that it would cost $16,500-18,000.

In March last year the two were smuggled to France, but authorities there deported them to Thailand.

The police tracked down and arrested Loan and Phuong.

It has not been revealed if the police have identified or tracked down the "friend" in Hanoi or other members of the immigration gang.

In 2016 Loan had been arrested for the same crime and sentenced to 26 months. She was released on bail and given a probation period of 52 months.

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