Six women freed from alleged human-trafficking ring

By Pham Trung Bac

Hanoi (dpa) – Police in Vietnam arrested four alleged members of an international human-trafficking ring and freed six women they were escorting to Singapore, a police official said Thursday.

     The suspected traffickers were arrested Sunday at Ho Chi Minh City airport as they were helping the women to check in for a flight to Singapore, said Nguyen Hong Sang, a senior police official in the women’s home province of Tay Ninh.

     Sang said the women had been recruited in Tay Ninh with the promise that they would be picked up in Singapore by a Vietnamese woman who had arranged jobs for them in shops or restaurants. In fact, they were being sold to brothels, Sang said.

     Those arrested were two women – Nguyen Loan Thach, 26, and Nguyen Thi Tuyet Nhung, 28 – and two men – Luu Huu Loi, 26, and Tran Van Tam, 36.

     Police also seized 30 passports, 11 airline tickets and more than 20,000 dollars.

     Sang said police had investigated the case based on information from three women who had been trafficked to Singapore but escaped to Vietnam and complained to police in April.

     The suspected traffickers declared they had been paid 2.5 million dong (132 dollars) for each woman, but Sang said the price must have been higher.

     Vietnamese police are working with Singapore authorities to identify the Vietnamese trafficker in Singapore.

      According to police statistics, at least 6,684 Vietnamese women and children had been trafficked abroad from 2005 to June.