Hanoi court sentences six people to a total of 81 years for trafficking children

The group used social media to find babies and offered them for sale in China.
By RFA Vietnamese
2022.08.29
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Hanoi court sentences six people to a total of 81 years for trafficking children Members of the trafficking ring at the sentencing at Hanoi People’s Court on Aug. 26.
Vietnamese Women newspaper

Hanoi People's Court has sentenced six Vietnamese to a total of 81 years in prison for trafficking children abroad.

Ringleader Huynhh Thi Hong and her five accomplices all pleaded guilty at last Thursday’s hearing.

Hong was sentenced to 19 years in prison, the others received terms of between five and 16 years for the crime of “trafficking in persons under 16 years of age.”

The group operated by joining the “Association of Giving and Adopting Children,” on social networks.

They used the information to find people who wanted to put their children up for adoption and then profited by selling them.

After receiving the babies, Hong's group looked for resellers, contacting a Chinese group to sell babies for as much as VND 170 million (U.S.$ 7,400) for a boy and VND 70 million (U.S.$ 3,000 for a girl.

The court heard that Hong’s group bought 10 babies between Nov. 2018 and Jan. 2019 and sold them for between U.S.$ 2,100 and U.S.$ 7,400. Hong, alone, earned U.S.$ 14,000.

State media reported that police were alerted to the trafficking ring in Jan., 2019 when a man driving down a street in Hanoi heard the sound of a crying child. He discovered that a girl had been abandoned on the steps of a house.

Human trafficking worsened in Vietnam over the past year, according to a report last month by the U.S. State Department.

The annual Trafficking in Persons Report placed the country in its lowest ranking alongside 21 other countries including Cambodia and China.

“The Government of Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore, Vietnam was downgraded to Tier 3,” the report said.

On the positive side, the report said Vietnam’s government had brought in: “formal child-centered investigative policies that aimed to address long standing insufficiencies in preexisting law; increasing international law enforcement cooperation; initiating a process to evaluate a preexisting anti-trafficking law for eventual amendment; achieving the first modest increase in victim identification in five years; and assisting more victims than in 2020.”

However, the report said that even though Vietnamese authorities identified more victims than the previous year, the first increase in five years, the government reported a decrease in convictions for the fifth year in a row.

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