NEWS: Vietnam:Child Trafficking Trial Adjourned

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Subject: NEWS: Vietnam:Child Trafficking Trial Adjourned
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.org)
Date: Thu May 27 1999 - 23:11:31 EDT


Monday May 10 4:08 AM ET

Child Trafficking Trial Adjourned

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - A Vietnamese judge has halted the trial of 11 people
charged with child
trafficking and bribery in connection with foreign adoptions.

The presiding judge in An Giang province ordered further investigation into
the case, an official said
today. No date for a retrial has been set.

He said the defendants denied the charges, saying they only carried out
adoptions on a humanitarian
basis.

The defendants include former officials of the Long Xuyen nurturing center
for orphans and the
elderly, the provincial Justice Department, the provincial hospital and
adoption brokers.

They were accused of selling 199 children for adoption over three years
until the case was
uncovered in late 1997. Residents of France, the United States, Canada,
Switzerland, Austria and
Belgium reportedly paid about $2,000 per child.

The children were adopted even though they had parents or other close
relatives who had not given
the required written approval, press reports have said.

Local press have reported that the ring, allegedly masterminded by Le Quoc
Binh and Ung Thi Ngoc
Hoa, had illegally earned $73,000.

Binh and Hoa and some other brokers allegedly solicited children from
destitute families and unwed
mothers, paying $36 to $50 per child.


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