CAN THO – Four members of a ring will be charged with trafficking people to China for selling their kidneys, Can Tho City police said on Tuesday.
Police said they have asked the city's Procuracy to prosecute La Thi Thinh, Vo Dinh Van, Le Son Truyen, and Quang Dai Vang for "organising other people to flee the country".
While organ trading is a crime in Viet Nam, in this case, it happened across the border in China.
From 2008 to February 2011, the four accused illegally took 19 poor Vietnamese nationals from HCM City and southern and Mekong provinces to China to sell their kidneys and earned profits of over VND150 million (US$7,300), investigations found.
Each kidney was sold for VND40 to VND50 million ($2,410) with all travel and accommodation expenses paid by Chinese traders.
For each person taken to China, the brokers got VND10 million ($483).
Police said in 2002, Van, a 25-year-old resident of HCM City's Go Vap District, and Truyen, 27-year-old resident of Tay Ninh Province's Duong Minh Chau District, were the first members of the ring to sell their kidneys to two Chinese traders whose details have not been released.
Van and Truyen were introduced to Thinh, a 40-year-old resident of Bac Giang Province's Son Dong District, who took people willing to sell their kidneys to Guangzhou Province in China. For each person taken to the Chinese province, Thinh received 300 yuan (VND900,000) from Truyen and Thinh.
Vang, a 24-year-old resident of Ninh Thuan Province's Ninh Phuoc District, became a member of the ring after selling his kidney in China in 2009. Vang got VND3 million for each person he successfully took to China.
In February 2011, Vang was arrested in Can Tho when he was on the way to take a Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta resident to China for selling his kidney.
According to medical exams conducted on three victims of the ring, the organ sale had damaged 41 per cent of their health, police said without elaborating.
In an unrelated case, a 22-year-old Vietnamese student died at his home in Ninh Thuan Province in June 2008 after selling his of his kidneys in China several months earlier.
To Cong Luan, a student of the Industrial Technical College in HCM City, had his left kidney removed in December 2007 at a hospital in Guangzhou, where he developed paralysis after the operation. He was brought back to Viet Nam in April 2008 and was treated at a hospital in HCM City until his family took him home, where he breathed his last. – VNS