|Tôn Nữ Thị Huyền, the alleged leader of a transnational kidney trafficking ring, at a police station. — VNA/VNS Photo |Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security’s Investigative Police Agency on Thursday said it had started legal proceedings against a woman from HCM City and four others for allegedly trafficking human organs.
Tôn Nữ Thị Huyền, 44, and her accomplices Hoàng Đức Tùng from Hà Nội, Huỳnh Linh Tâm from Quảng Ngãi Province and Nguyễn Minh Tâm from Vĩnh Phúc Province, have been detained pending further investigation.
According to the initial investigation, the ring had been operating since May 2017 after Huyền tried to sell her own kidney to pay off a debt.
Deputy head of the ministry’s Criminal Police Department Phan Mạnh Trường said this might be the biggest ring discovered so far.
According to police, Huyền and other members of the ring approached potential kidney sellers on social media.
Most of the “sellers” were from poor rural areas and ethic minority groups who were convinced the procedures would have little impact on their health.
Donors received around VNĐ200 million (US$8,600) for each kidney while the ring pocketed nearly VNĐ400 million. Brokers were given between VNĐ20-25 million for each successful referral.
The ring is believed to have made tens of billions of đồng before it was cracked on January 21.
Nguyễn Duy Thành from the Department of Criminal Police’s Division 5 said most of the victims were from disadvantaged families who were willing to sell their body parts to make money to pay for family medical expenses. Other victims agreed to sell their kidneys to pay off debts from gambling or loans.
Many victims suffered serious health problems after returning home due to improper treatment and care.
The case is under further investigation. — VNS