Vietnam summons Ukrainian ambassador over Odessa raid of ethnic Vietnamese

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The Lotus Village of Vietnamese people in Odessa, Ukraine was raided on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Nguoi Viet Ukraina The Lotus Village of Vietnamese people in Odessa, Ukraine was raided on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Nguoi Viet Ukraina

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Ukrainian ambassador Aleksei Shovkoplias over a raid of an ethnic Vietnamese quarter in Odessa by Ukrainian forces on May 23.
Vietnam has taken the issue seriously and the envoy has been asked to forward the ministry’s request to investigate the case and return properties seized during the raid, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vu Hong Nam said Tuesday.
He called on Ukrainian authorities to ensure the safety and security of ethnic Vietnamese living in Lotus village in Odessa.
The raid was carried out at around 3 p.m. on May 23.
According to news website Timer, some 10 cars and two vans with armed men broke down a gate at the complex entrance and began to break into apartments and grab money and valuables. Anyone who resisted was assaulted.
The victims claimed that at least half a million dollars in cash and assets were taken away.
The website of the Odessa police reported that the operation was carried out by the staff of the Prosecutor’s office.

A file photo shows a safe in an apartment being destroyed after a raid at the Lotus Village in Ukraine on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Channel 7

According to The Odessa Times, representatives of the Vietnamese community gathered May 24 at the Odessa Prosecutor’s Office and demanded that the perpetrators be punished.
Solomiya Bobrovska, deputy governor of the Odessa region, apologized to them and said the situation has been brought under control by local police.
Earlier, on January 28, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU, dubbed the Ukrainian FBI), reportedly searching for evidence of illegal activity by immigrants, particularly illegal foreign currency transactions, broke into the apartments of ethnic Vietnamese, Novorossia Today reported.

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