China / Society

18 sentenced in stowaway cases in south China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-29 21:29

NANNING - Court authorities have sentenced 18 people to jail for illegally travelling to or arranging transport into China and Vietnam on Monday.

Out of the 18 criminals, seven are Vietnamese stowaways who illegally entered China from the city of Mong Cai, which is adjacent to the Chinese city of Dongxing on the China-Vietnam border.

The rest included illegal immigrants into Vietnam and Chinese who helped stowaways by charging "transportation fees," known as "snake heads" according to statements from two separate courts in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The criminals were given jail terms ranging from eight months to ten years, according to the statements.

In recent years, an increasing number of young Vietnamese, eager to escape poverty and lured by modern China, have tried to illegally cross the border to seek jobs in the world's second largest economy.

According to official statistics, Guangxi authorities handled 17 stowaway cases this year.

Between the start of 2011 and the end of March 2013, police in the region arrested 8,332 foreigners who illegally entered the country, according to Fan Shaogang, vice captain of Guangxi's regional border control police.

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