News/Vietnam: Second alleged child-trafficking ring goes on trial

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Subject: News/Vietnam: Second alleged child-trafficking ring goes on trial
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 12:03:21 EDT


           Second alleged child-trafficking ring goes on trial

APws 3-29-00 4:04 PM

  The Associated Press.

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Twelve people accused of involvement in selling
children to foreigners for adoption have gone on trial in Vietnam's second
major child-trafficking case this year, a judge said Wednesday.
    Vu Tien Manh, an official of the Ninh Binh provincial justice
department, and his associates face five to 20 years in jail if convicted,
said Pham Van Kha, chief judge of the provincial court.
    Kha said the trial, which opened Tuesday, was expected to last until
Thursday.
    Prosecutors say the ring illegally traded 174 children for adoption to
citizens of France, the United States, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Sweden
in June 1992-November 1998. A total of 371 children were adopted by
foreigners during that period in the northern province.
    The ring allegedly solicited children from unwed women and desperate
families, then sold them for dlrs 1,000-1,500 each. The scam allegedly ran
up illegal profits of 1 billion dong (dlrs 70,000) -- a huge amount in one
of the world's poorest countries.
    Hoang Van Nam, one of Manh's associates, allegedly talked 14 pregnant
women into giving up their children, even paying a woman to take care of
them in the final months before they gave birth.
    No figures are available on the number of Vietnamese children adopted by
foreigners each year.
    In January, 11 people were convicted and sentenced to up to 20 years for
a child-trading ring for foreign adoptions in the southern province of An
Giang province.
    It allegedly solicited 199 children dlrs 30 to dlrs 50 each and sold
them to residents of France, United States, Austria, Switzerland and
Belgium for dlrs 2,000.


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