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Gang put on trial for trafficking

By ZHANG YAN/LI YINGQING | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-20 06:33

Suspects accused of kidnapping Vietnamese women for marriage

Thirteen suspects are awaiting verdicts on accusations of cross-border human trafficking in Southwest China's Yunnan province.

They are accused of trafficking or purchasing 27 Vietnamese women and bringing them to China for forced marriages between July 2014 and April 2016, according to prosecutors cited in a report on Thursday by www.yunnan.cn, a provincial news portal.

Court documents obtained by China Daily on Friday show that the trial was conducted on May 11 at a court in Kaiyuan.

Among the 13 defendants, 10 were accused of kidnapping or purchasing 27 Vietnamese women from China-Vietnam border areas, and reselling them for 33,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan ($4,800 to $14,500) each in rural areas.

The other defendants were accused of buying the women knowing that they were abducted, according to prosecutors.

"These women were cheated or drugged, and were forcibly taken to China. They were traded like commodities and resold several times to be the wives of strangers.

"Many of these women were married in Vietnam and had children, and some of them were college students," according to prosecution.

The documents did not reveal whether these women had returned to Vietnam.

In court, prosecutors said the defendants had formed an organized gang, with some responsible for finding victims, some bringing them to China, some contacting agents and some selling them.

However, some defendants argued in court that they were just marriage brokers who introduced foreign women for marriage, rather than trafficking them.

Although the suspects did not torture or illegally detain the women, they took advantage of the language barrier, and the women's lack of money and identity documents, to limit their freedom, according to the prosecutors.

For many men in poor rural areas in China, looking for a wife remains a problem, giving an opportunity to human traffickers.

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