Archive for the ‘human trafficking’ Category

India’s sex trade exposed

November 29, 2008

On the streets of Kamathipura young women stand ready and available, looking to lure their next customer. They pose, they smile, some wave. They look terribly young, their faces heavy with make-up. Many are dressed in Western clothes, others in traditional saris. In this red light district of Mumbai, they stand on the kerbside in front of grimy shacks containing the beds on which they do their work. There is the hustle and chaos of the traffic, the clogged roads, the constant noise. And there is terrible sadness too.

By Andrew Buncombe
The Independent (UK)

“I was tricked here. I was in love with a man and I came here with him. But when I got here, he sold me,” says Simla, a 42-year-old prostitute, originally from Nepal. She has two children and she saves what little she earns to send them to school, desperate that they do not follow her into the sex industry. “I was fooled into this. I will not allow my children to do it.”

Sex costs little on the frenetic streets of India’s business capital, where people come and go all the time. New arrivals wash up from India’s poor rural hinterland, desperate for work, any sort of work. Men – who are used to a repressed, conservative culture – come and stand and stare. There is a near-constant flow. A young woman might be able to charge a customer 100 rupees (£1.30) a time, but an older woman might only get 30 rupees (40 pence). When a woman demands that a customer use a condom, the price is usually lowered as a result.

These women and their customers are at the forefront of India’s Aids crisis. The country has up to three million people living with HIV, the third-highest total in the world. Experts say that the most important danger in the spread of HIV comes from the relatively high numbers of men who go to sex workers, who do not use condoms and whose jobs involve them travelling. As a result, both sex workers and India’s legions of horn-blaring truck drivers are among the groups most persistently targeted by health workers and educators trying to push the message of safe sex.

The Insidious Nature of Human Trafficking: Vietnam

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One Time Aruba Murder Suspect in Natalee Holloway Death Now in Thai Prostitution and Trafficking?

November 10, 2008


A suspect in the 2005 disappearance of an Alabama teen in Aruba is involved in selling Thai women into prostitution, a Dutch TV reporter claims.

Reporter Peter De Vries has made a second hidden-camera expose on Dutch student Joran Van der Sloot, who was believed to be with Natalee Holloway when she vanished while on a senior trip to Aruba. De Vries won an Emmy this year for another report on Van Der Sloot, 21, in which the student admits to dumping Holloway’s body after she suddenly began shaking and died as they were kissing.

Suspect in Holloway case allegedly involved in sex trade industry 
Joran Van der Sloot and Natalee Holloway

By Fox News

De Vries’ latest report, which was shown Sunday night on Dutch television, shows Van der Sloot telling someone posing as a sex-industry boss that he can get passports for Thai women and girls who think they are going to the Netherlands to work as dancers, reported.

Van der Sloot makes about $13,000 for every woman sold into prostitution in the Netherlands, De Vries claims.

“The pictures show how little respect this 21-year-old has for the lives of others,” De Vries told a Dutch newspaper. “The fact that he goes into the trafficking of women after the disappearance of Natalee is typical of him.”

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China: A Desperate Search For Stolen Children

March 10, 2008

By Maureen Fan 

Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, March 10, 2008; Page A11

BEIJING — The man was a distant relative, so Yuan Cheng thought he could trust him. They both came from the same impoverished village of corn farmers, where most teenagers leave home for city jobs that pay in one month what a family earns off the land in a year.

Last March, Yuan said he asked the relative, a construction team leader in central Henan province, to find a job for his 15-year-old son, Yuan Xueyu. Two days later, the boy and 18 others set off on a 500-mile journey to the city of Zhengzhou.

Xueyu was assigned to a job installing windows between the 23rd and 24th floors of a skyscraper. But at the end of a shift three weeks later, the boy vanished, the relative later told Yuan in a phone call.

Yuan’s year-long search for his son has turned into an odyssey through the ill-defined world of human trafficking, an underground system that has helped fuel China’s

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Vietnam to send 100,000 migrant workers to Qatar

January 12, 2008

The Khaleej Times
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
12 January 2008
HANOI- Communist Vietnam plans to send 100,000 guest workers to oil-rich Qatar over the next three years, expanding its migrant labour programme in the Middle East, state media said Saturday.

The two countries’ labour ministers signed an agreement on the programme in Hanoi on Friday after Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung visited the Gulf emirate in mid-December, the Vietnam News daily reported.

Vietnam last year sent 85,000 workers abroad—mostly to Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and other Asian countries—generating income and reducing unemployment at home, where 1.5 million people enter the job market every year.

About 10,000 Vietnamese already work in Qatar, says Vietnam’s government, which sees the Middle East, including the oil and gas-rich Gulf states, as a promising growth market for its labour exports.

Vietnam has set a target of sending 100,000 workers abroad every year by 2010, according to the Department of Management of Overseas Labourers.

Migration experts and state media have highlighted cases of exploitation of Vietnamese migrant workers who often have been trapped under harsh conditions in overseas jobs while struggling to repay large loans and air fares.Labour Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Nhan told a workshop last week that Vietnam’s labour exports will comply with international law, ‘protecting participants, especially the rights and interests of labourers,’ the Vietnam News reported.

The Insidious Nature of Human Trafficking: Vietnam

The Insidious Nature of Human Trafficking: Vietnam

January 12, 2008
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 12, 2008
The government of communist Vietnam and a lot of their fellows in business with Vietnam are not going to like this much but it should be known that Vietnam is a state sponsor of human trafficking.The veneer of “disgust over human trafficking by the government of Vietnam” looks like this: a crackdown on human trafficking covers over Vietnam’s worst offenses. The article from Than Nien News on December 26, 2007 (see the article “Human Trafficking Crackdown in Vietnam” below) is a fine example of how the official, state controlled media paints a picture of righteousness and propriety against human trafficking inside Vietnam.The truth is that the communist government of Vietnam sanctions and profits from human trafficking.

Just yesterday, January 11, 2008, an article ran in Nhan Dan, a Vietnamese Communist State News Service, under the banner headline “Vietnam and Qatar Sign Labor Co-Operation Pact.”

The article states, in part, that an “agreement was inked by Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Qatar Minister of labour and State Social Affairs Sultan Bin Hassan Al-Dhabit Al-Dosari.”

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is a criminal who made a lot of money on this deal. She is a madam if you prefer kindness. In fact, she is a slave trader.

The article continues, “The Qatar government has licensed its businesses to recruit an additional 25,000 Vietnamese workers besides the current 10,000. The country plans to increase the number of Vietnamese guest workers to 100,000 within the next three years.”

There is no mention of any people from Qatar traveling to Vietnam to work.

Here is what happens to a “guest worker” who arrives in Qatar. Upon arrival, the “guest worker’s” passport and other papers are confiscated. The best looking young women are assigned to work in brothels and other businesses that are hidden by a veneer of propriety. Many of the girls are told they are “entertainers.” It doesn’t take long to realize this means prostitute.

Other women are assigned as “domestics” and work as maids in private households. These women are routinely raped or expected to “service” the master of the house regularly.

Anyone attempting to escape from this system of state sponsored exploitation will find his or her photograph published in the newspaper with a caption like this: “Hong Nguyen has run away from her rightful employer at 5623 Persian Gulf Way. She is a Vietnamese national without passport or travel documents. She is an illegal alien in Qatar. Any person coming into contact with this criminal should notify the police at this phone number: ( ****). Her employer has offered a reward for her return to lawful work in the guest worker program.”

When I passed the main state police station in Qatar, one of my hosts opined, “That is the building where people go in and never come out.”

Men who arrive in oil-rich Arab nations like Qatar suffer a similar fate. They work 14-20 hours a day in the most miserable conditions. American dogs have a MUCH better life than these human beings.

Another of Vietnam’s state sponsored human trafficking scams is the marriage brokering business. Young women are promised better lives, good money and a nice life style if they marry a foreigner. Foreign men line up to look over hundreds of pretty, young, naïve, willing and submissive women. The men are often from South Korea, China, or Taiwan.

The government of Vietnam makes a little money from every “marriage.” The men pay a fee gladly.

Once the Vietnamese “wives” are in their new homes in Taiwan or elsewhere, their passports are confiscated and they often become sex slaves. Abuse of these young people is terrible — too terrible to describe here.

If the young “wife” escapes, she has no local language skills and is unlikely to find a decent job because she has no documents and is obviously an illegal alien.

So it is our suggestion that readers dismiss the glowing reports from Vietnam and other countries engaged in exporting human beings for profit. That is called human trafficking and is one of the most despicable crimes against humanity.


“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
— Winston Churchill

Human Trafficking Crackdown in Vietnam 

Local authorities will intensify their operations in 2008 to stop the trafficking of women and children across the Chinese/Cambodian

Ministry of Public Security Vice Director of Social Order and Crime Investigations, Colonel Dang Quoc Nhat, said, women and children smuggling in Vietnam is very serious and complicated, requiring increasingly cunning methods.

As many as 900 human trafficking cases involving 1,600 traffickers and 2,200 smuggled women and children were detected from 2005-2007.

Police and border guards have also uncovered several rings that trafficked women and children from Vietnam via Laos to Thailand, Africa or Europe to be sex workers. Economic difficulties, unemployment and poor education, especially in mountainous and remote areas, were the major factors in the trafficking increase.

Adapted from: “Human Trafficking Crackdown.” Thanh Nien News, 26 December 2007.


Vietnam and Qatar sign labor co-operation pact

Vietnam to send 100,000 migrant workers to Qatar

Vietnam and Qatar sign labor co-operation pact

January 11, 2008

From Nhan Dan (Vietnamese Communist State News Service)
January 11, 2008

Vietnam and Qatar signed a labour co-operation agreement in Hanoi on January 11, launching a new phase in bilateral ties in labour and social affairs.

The agreement was inked by Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Qatar Minister of labour and State Social Affairs Sultan Bin Hassan Al-Dhabit Al-Dosari.

The Qatar government has licensed its businesses to recruit an additional 25,000 Vietnamese workers besides the current 10,000. The country plans to increase the number of Vietnamese guest workers to 100,000 within the next three years.

“As Vietnam is open its embassy in Qatar soon, we will assign an attaché in charge of coordinating with the local authorities in managing Vietnamese workers,” Minister Ngan said.

Before the signing ceremony, the two ministers held talks to discuss in details issues related to labour co-operation, particularly vocational training for Vietnamese workers, and the management and protection of their interests in Qatar .

Later on the day, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung gave a reception to the visiting Qatar labour minister.

He told the guest that labour co-operation is the shortest way for the two countries to boost their cooperation and expand trade and investment and attain higher economic growths.

“The labour cooperation agreement will provide a full and close legal framework for the sending of Vietnamese workers to Qatar ,” Deputy PM Hung said.

He emphasised that the two sides need to collaborate in training Vietnamese workers not only in professional skills, but also in the language, culture and customs and the law of Qatar.

Vietnam Makes arrest In Human Trafficking Sting

January 5, 2008

January 5, 2008 

(Hanoi) VIETNAMES police have arrested a man who allegedly trafficked 23 females to China after authorities received a tip-off from one teenager who escaped back into Vietnam, a news report said today.

The Hanoi man, identified as Nguyen Anh Tuan, allegedly befriended the women through internet chatrooms, then enticed them to travel to northern border areas from where they were sent to China, the Than Nien daily said.

Since 2005, Tuan and his accomplices had trafficked 23 females, including seven teenagers, to China, before one of them, a 17-year-old girl from northern Ha Nam province, escaped and alerted police back home, the report said.

Vietnamese and Chinese police were working to bring home the other females.

The Nhan Dan daily, citing police and border guard figures, meanwhile reported that 323 human trafficking cases were discovered in Vietnam in 2007, an increase of more than 40 per cent on the previous year.

Most Vietnamese women and children who fall victim to trafficking are sent to neighbouring China or Cambodia for arranged marriages or prostitution.

China Gets Tough On Sex Crimes

December 19, 2007


Two school teachers have been sentenced to death in China for forcing more than 20 young girls – including some of their own pupils – into prostitution.Zhao Qingmei and her husband, Chi Yao, were convicted of running a child-sex ring in the southern Guizhou province.

The girls, aged between 11 and 17, were taken to local hostels and reportedly told that their families would be poisoned if they refused to have sex.

At least 12 other people convicted of involvement received jail sentences.

They included two other teachers and the owners of hostels where the girls were taken.

The official Xinhua news agency described Zhao and Chi, from the town of Xinfa, as China’s most-wanted couple.

After the sex ring was uncovered, they fled to neighbouring Sichuan province, but were arrested in August after the authorities offered a 100,000 yuan (£6,700; $13,500) reward.

Bijie Intermediate Court handed down the death sentences last Friday after hearing how the couple forced 23 girls into prostitution between March and June 2006.

Six of the victims were under the age of 14.

The court was told that the child-sex ring made 32,350 yuan.

Chi’s sentence was suspended for two years, and is likely to be commuted to life imprisonment.

The couple have until 24 December to appeal against the sentences.

Sex slaves, human trafficking… in America?

December 3, 2007

By Grace Kahng
The TODAY contributor

In spring of 2004, Katya (not her real name), like thousands of other foreign exchange university students, was looking forward to the summer job placement that she and a friend had received in Virginia Beach, Virginia. When she and her friend Lena arrived at Dulles Airport after a long flight from Ukraine, they were relieved to be met by fellow countrymen who spoke Russian.

The two men, Alex Maksimenko and Michael Aronov, were holding signs with the girls’ names and greeted them by taking their bags and luggage. Charming and reassuring, Aronov informed the girls that they had been reassigned to a job in Detroit where they would waitress and perfect their English language skills.

The men drove Katya and Lena to the Greyhound bus station and gave them tickets to Detroit. Confused and exhausted, the girls had no reason to question the change of plans.

“When we got to the hotel in Detroit, everything changed,” says Katya. “They closed the door and sat us down on the couch, took our passports and papers and said, you owe us big money for bringing you here. They gave us strip clothes and told us that we were going to be working at a strip club called ‘Cheetahs.’”

Shocked and scared, the two women were subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse  over the next year as they were forced to work 12-hour shifts stripping for local Detroit men’s clubs. According to immigration customs agent Angus Lowe, the men controlled the women through intimidation with guns and threats to hurt family members back home.

Katya and her friend are two of the estimated 17,000 young women and girls annually who are forced to work in the sex industry in the U.S. by organized criminals. “Chicago, Houston, St. Paul, Minnesota, these crimes are happening in every community in America big and small,” says Marcie Forman, Director of Investigations for ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement.)   “We’re talking about money here. Millions of dollars and these people don’t think about these women as human beings. They think of them as dollars and cents,” Forman says.

In February 2005, after months of planning and finally confiding in a customer from the strip club, the two girls escaped and were brought to the FBI and ICE. Their escape resulted in the arrest of Alex Maksimenko and Michael Aronov, both of whom pleaded guilty and are serving time in federal prison for their crimes.

Even though her captors are in prison, Katya says she will never live without fear. Maksimenko’s father — who was also convicted of forced labor and illegal trafficking — continues to live openly in Ukraine as a fugitive from authorities. 

Tune in: NBC’s Meredith Vieira goes inside the human trafficking and underground prostitution scene in the United States in “MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves in America,” which premieres Monday, December 3 at 11 PM ET/PT on MSNBC.

The dark side of illegal immigration

December 3, 2007

Wichita, Kansas, Nov. 28, 2007

While the nation focuses on illegal immigration, there is a whole set of criminals preying and profiting off the fear of illegal immigrants. In a special investigation, KSN exposes the dark underground of human slavery, extortion and trafficking.

The story begins at an apartment in Houston, TX, where an alleged victim was told he could go and find work. We’ll call him Rico to protect his identity.

“When we arrived at the apartment, I realized there was something wrong. A lot of people were being held against their will. Then there was an individual with a handgun and he was telling folks that they could not go outside and leave.”

Rico says he was loaded into a van and brought to Wichita, where he was forced to work all day washing dishes in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. He was never paid.

“I was standing for 14 hours a day and we could not take breaks, we had to keep working.”

At night, Rico claims he and others were locked in a nearby apartment until the next morning when they were taken back to work. Then one morning, Rico and another man decided to make a run for it.

Rico says he has been working with federal authorities on the case, but no government official would comment to KSN.

Rico’s story however, comes on the heels of another case – the first ever prosecuted in Kansas involving the kidnap and smuggling of illegal immigrants.

Two Mexican nationals were arrested last January after the mini-van they were driving to a flat tire west of Hutchinson on Highway 50.

Deputy Shawn McClay responded to the call, “The tow truck company and myself opened up the back compartment of the van to see if we could find the tool and the spare tire to help them and change it. And it was at that time as soon as we opened it we saw the 11 Hispanics in the back.”

None of them were wearing shoes. Odd, thought Deputy McClay who knew at the very least he had a van of illegal immigrants.

“Now that I look back on it, some of them kind of seemed relieved. But at the time I didn’t know why.”

McClay’s instinct would prove right. When immigration officials questioned the group, they discovered the immigrants were hostages. A spokesperson says the captors deprived the group of their shoes, so they wouldn’t run away.

The Justice Department says the illegal immigrants were abducted from a stash house in Phoenix, Arizona. They were then held at gunpoint and then forced to call family members for payments. They’re not alone – nationwide these crimes are on the rise.

So why is this happening? Law enforcement officials say after September 11th, increased border patrols made human smuggling big business. Other crimes associated with smuggling have increased as well.

Rico says once in Wichita he learned his captors paid for him, “he said, no you owe me money I had to pay for you guys.”

Even though Rico managed to escape, he was left homeless, with no money and hundreds of miles from anyone he knew. He says he’s met others in Wichita who have experienced the same thing he has.

They don’t say anything, they don’t do anything they’re afraid because of the fear of being deported, and they are scared.”

But Rico says nothing’s scarier than what he has experienced, so he shared his story hoping authorities will put a stop to it.