Vietnam jails ‘wife’ trafficking ring

HANOI, July 27, 2007 (AFP) – A Taiwanese man and five Vietnamese have been jailed for between five and 12 years for trafficking more than 120 Vietnamese women to Malaysia, a court official said Friday in the communist country. Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last month urged local authorities to raise awareness and make every effort to prevent woman and child trafficking in the country, especially in border areas with China and Cambodia.

The victims were sold as wives to Malaysian men for 1,500 to 2,000 dollars each, then re-sold after their arrival, some to work as prostitutes, for 4,200 to 6,400 dollars per woman, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court was told.

Vietnamese police were also investigating additional illegal marriages brokered by the ring with Taiwanese and South Korean men, court official Nguyen Thi Hong told AFP after Thursday’s verdict.

“This is the largest trans-national women’s trafficking network to be broken up by Vietnamese police,” Hong said. “We have punished the defendants severely because they have seriously harmed the dignity of Vietnamese women.”

The court handed a 12-year sentence to ring-leader Tran Thi My Phuong, 35, and jailed her Taiwanese husband Tsai Hsien, 46, for seven