CAN THO — The People's Court in Can Tho City on Tuesday sentenced four members of a kidney-trading ring to prison for five to six years each on charges of "organising people to flee the country".
Organ trading is a crime in Viet Nam, but in this case, the criminal activity took place across the border in China. Thus, the court tried the case on a different charge.
The court handed down a six-year prison sentence each to Vo Dinh Van, a 25-year-old resident of HCM City's Go Vap District and La Thi Thinh, 40, a resident of Bac Giang Province's Son Dong District.
Le Son Truyen, 27, from southwestern Tay Ninh Province's Duong Minh Chau District, and Quang Dai Vang, 24, from central Ninh Thuan Province's Ninh Phuoc District were sentenced to five years each on the same charge.
The court also demanded the confiscation of illegal profits of VND98 million from Van, VND30 million from Truyen, VND21 million from Vang, and VND5.7 million from Thinh.
According to the court's verdict, in early 2008, Van and Truyen were taken to China to sell their kidneys.
Van and Truyen became 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, who took people willing to sell their kidneys to Guangzhou Province in China.
For each person taken to the Chinese province, Thinh received 100 yuan (VND300,000 or US$15) from Van and Truyen.
Vang became a member of the ring after selling his kidney in China in 2009. Vang received VND3 million ($150) for each person he successfully took to China.
In February this year, Vang was arrested in Can Tho when he was on his way to take a Can Tho resident to China to sell his kidney.
The other members of the ring were discovered after Vang's arrest.
According to the court's verdict, from 2008 to February this year, the four members of the ring who have been sentenced to prison took 19 poor Vietnamese nationals from HCM City and southern provinces to China to sell their kidneys.
They earned profits of over VND150 million ($US7,300). Each kidney was sold for VND40 million 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).
According to medical exams conducted on three victims of the ring, the organ sale had damaged 41 per cent of their health, according to police's investigation.
In 2008, a 22-year-old Vietnamese student died at his home in Ninh Thuan Province after selling his kidneys in China several months earlier. — VNS