HCM CITY (VNS)— The HCM City Police Department on Thursday arrested seven traffickers who were selling newborn babies to people in China and Viet Nam.
The alleged traffickers were led by Ngo Thi Lan, known as Hong, 44, and Tuong Dinh Thuong, 44, of Hai Phong.
The team included Tran Ngoc Quy, 44; Vo Van Vien, 44; Vo Thi Kieu Trang, 26, Tran Thien Nhan, 44, all of HCM City; and Pham Tuan Phuong, 52, of Dac Nong.
Six of them have been charged with child trafficking, excluding Trang who is nursing a child, according to the police.
Police said that Trang gave birth to a baby girl (fathered by Vien) at the Tu Du Maternity Hospital on February 24.
Three days later, Trang and Vien took the baby to Nhi Dong 1 Children's Hospital in District 10, to meet Lan, who bought the newborn for VND7 million ($332). They had been introduced by Quy.
Police arrested them shortly after the transaction, and interrogated them, which led to the arrest of Thuong, Phuong and Nhan, who had been acting as the main baby brokers for Lan.
According to police, the gang usually aproach indigent women who have recently given birth or other women who have very young babies less than a week old.
In February, Lan bought a newborn for VND14.5 million ($688) via an introduction made by Quy and Phuong. She then sold it to a woman in Tay Ninh Province for VND35 million ($1,660) after an introduction by Thuong.
Also, in August last year, Lan sold two newborns to Nguyen Thanh Hang, 28, of HCM City. Hang was arrested by police on her way to China to sell the baby to a trafficker, police said.
According to police, Quy had given Lan information about three babies for sale. He received a commission of VND1 million ($47) from Lan for each introduction.
In June last year, Thuong began contacting buyers directly to sell about 20 babies for VND2-7 million ($94-332) each, police said. He sold most of them, but gave a few to Lan, who then planned to sell them to traffickers in China.
Police are continuing their investigation. — VNS