Police break up human trafficking ring in central Việt Nam

June 07, 2024 - 14:40
Police in Hà Tĩnh Province in collaboration with border guard forces and the police of Bokeo Province of Laos have successfully dismantled a human trafficking ring, safely returning 36 victims to Việt Nam
The victims of the human trafficking ring being rescued by police. — Photo tienphong.vn

HÀ TĨNH — Police in the central province of Hà Tĩnh, working with border guards and the police of Bokeo Province, Laos, have successfully dismantled a human trafficking ring, safely returning 36 victims to Việt Nam.

Four suspects were apprehended at the end of May, local media reported.

They are identified as Lê Xuân Thành, 35, Lê Anh Tuấn, 34, Dương Anh Điện, 38, all residing in Hà Tĩnh Province and Lê Thanh Trầm, 46, from Nghệ An Province.

According to authorities, Thành and Tuấn travelled to Laos in late 2023 to work for a criminal organisation operating in Bokeo Province.

Their group was tasked with managing various social media platforms to defraud Vietnamese citizens into investing in scam applications.

From November 2023 to April 2024, Thành and Tuấn posted recruitment information on social media, offering jobs in Thailand with a salary of VNĐ18-30 million (US$706-1,170). Điện and Trầm assisted in the operation.

At least 22 people from Hà Tĩnh Province and 14 others from neighbouring provinces were contacted by Thành's group and transported through the Tây Trang border gate in the northern province Điện Biên to Bokeo Province, where they were handed over to Chinese nationals.

Upon arrival, the victims were put under strict surveillance, forced into labour and coerced into fraudulent activities and online gambling operations, with work time reaching nearly twenty hours a day.

The victims were not paid, subjected to beatings and restrained to make it impossible for them to leave.

When they refused to comply with assigned tasks, they were forced to call their families in Việt Nam to demand ransom money.

According to the police, in addition to trafficking individuals from Việt Nam to Laos, the group also engaged in asset appropriation fraud and organised online gambling activities. — VNS