July 27, 2007
Six people have been jailed by a court in Vietnam for sending more than 120 women to be sold in Malaysia.Tran Thi My Phuong, 35, received a 12-year term for human trafficking from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court.Five others, including her Taiwanese husband, received sentences of up to 10 years.
Judge Tran Thi Hong Viet said the gang had promised to find the women husbands in Malaysia, but instead they were sold to a broker and put up for resale.
Overseas marriage is seen by some women in Vietnam as a route out of poverty and the practise is widespread in some rural areas.
But many women fall foul of unscrupulous brokers and are sold into prostitution, while others are forced into marriages that they do not want.
According to the judge, 126 women were trafficked to Malaysia between April 2005 and June 2006.
Depending on their age and looks, the women were sold for between US$1,500 (£736) and $2,000 to a broker in Malaysia.
They were then sold in bars for as much as $6,300 to mostly elderly or disabled men, the Associated Press news agency quoted her as saying.
The police learned about the case when some of the women returned to Vietnam, she said.
“This is the largest transnational women’s trafficking network to be broken up by Vietnamese police,” the French news agency AFP quoted court official Nguyen Thi Hong as saying.
“We have punished the defendants severely because they have seriously harmed the dignity of Vietnamese women.”
HANOI, Vietnam: A court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced six people to prison for luring more than 120 women to Malaysia, where most were sold to elderly and disabled men, a judge said Friday.
Tran Thi My Phuong was sentenced to 12 years in jail for human trafficking, said presiding judge Tran Thi Hong Viet. Her Taiwanese husband Tsai I Hsein was given seven years, and four others received five to 10 years at a one-day trial Thursday, said presiding judge Tran Thi Hong Viet.
The ring members were convicted of trafficking 126 Vietnamese women to Malaysia between April 2005 and June last year, she said.
Viet said the ring members had promised the victims, mostly from the southwestern region, help finding husbands in Malaysia. They were instead sold to a broker in Malaysia for US$1,500 (€1,100) to US$2,000 (€1,500), depending on their age and beauty, she said.
The women were put on sale at bars in Malaysia for as much as US$6,300 (€4,600) , she said, adding most potential buyers were elderly or disabled men.
More than 10 of the victims had managed to escape and return to Vietnam, and reported the case to police, Viet said.
At the court, the defendants maintained that they just wanted to help the women find husbands in Malaysia, but the court determined that their actions constituted woman trafficking, a crime which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.
Thousands of Vietnamese women have been sold to China and some Southeast Asian nations for sex slaves and forced marriages.