|The defendants involved an illegal surrogacy ring in court. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — Five people involved in an illegal surrogacy ring have been sentenced to prison by a Hà Nội court on Saturday after delaying the trial in late September.
This is the first time the crime has gone to the city's court, vietnamplus.vn reported.
The accused including Chinese nationals Cai Guo Lin, 37, sentenced 36 months in prison, and Cai Guo Fang, 54, who received 30 months in prison.
Triệu Thị Hằng, 41, from the central province of Thanh Hóa and Hoàng Thị Thu Trang, 27, from the northern province of Hưng Yên, received the same sentence of 20 months in prison.
Nguyễn Thị Ngọc, 19, from Bắc Ninh Province, was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
They were all sentenced for the same charge of operating a surrogacy network for commercial purposes under Article 187 in the 2015 Penal Code and they have to pay a fine of VNĐ10-30 million (US$434-1,300).
According to the indictment, Cai Guo Lin worked at a private hospital specialising in fertility and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services in China, which is owned by Guo Yong.
In early September 2018, Cai Guo Lin and Cai Guo Fang were sent to Việt Nam to find surrogate mothers.
After arriving, Cai Guo Lin met a Chinese doctor named Apo who introduced him to Trang, an interpreter at Thiên Hòa Clinic in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District.
Cai asked Trang to work as an interpreter for him and search for potential surrogate mothers.
Trang is alleged to have asked Hằng to find a surrogate mother. Hằng introduced Ninh Thị Thơm, 31, from Hà Nội’s Long Biên District, to Cai who brought her to China for the duration of the pregnancy.
In November last year, Hằng introduced Trang to six other women willing to be surrogate mothers.
On December 11, Cai, Hằng, Trang and Ngọc took the surrogate mothers from Hà Nội to HCM City before departing to Cambodia.
When in HCM City, the group stayed at a hotel in District 3. After becoming scared of the prospect of being trafficked, one of the women called her family, leading to the arrests. — VNS