Chinese gang on trial for abducting 27 Vietnamese women and selling them as wives in China
The victims, some already married or still at college, were deceived, drugged and brought across border by force, court hears
A gang accused of human trafficking is being tried in public in southwestern China for abducting 27 women from Vietnam and selling them as wives on the mainland, local media reported.
The group of 10, headed by a man surnamed Li, are accused of buying the victims and then reselling them to others in Guangdong, Hunan, Shandong and Hubei provinces between 2014 and 2016, according to the prosecutor in Yunnan’s Honghe prefecture, which shares a border with Vietnam.
Four other people were charged with buying the women in the full knowledge that they were abducted.
The Vietnamese women were deceived and even drugged when they were brought to China and resold multiple times to strangers as “wives”, the provincial news portal Yunnan.cn reported, citing the prosecutor.
Some of the 27 victims were already married in Vietnam or were still college students, it said.
The gang bought the women for between 21,000 yuan to 40,000 yuan (US$3,000 - US$5,800) and sold for 33,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan.
Gang members performed specific roles in the illegal enterprise – some liaised with traffickers in Vietnam or negotiated with middlemen, while others “marketed” and sold the women locally.
The human-trafficking operation from Vietnam to China operated as full “business supply chain”, the prosecutor said.
The hearing continues.
Though punishable by life imprisonment or even death, the abduction of women to be forced into marriage remains a serious problem in China, especially in rural areas where there are far more many men than women.
From 2011 to 2015, Chinese police uncovered some 15,000 cases, according to official figures.