12-year-old forced into labor in forest by wildlife poachers

TN News

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A 12-year-old boy in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on Friday was reunited with his family after a month of being forced into labor by illegal poachers in a forest.

Ngo Thanh Tung was found wandering in the "Valley of Love" tourism area in Lam Dong's Da Lat Town at around 1 a.m. on Friday.

Employees of the tourism area first thought Tung had got separated from his parents. They gave him food and accommodation.

Tung then told them he was a sixth grader at the Tan Lam 2 Secondary School in Di Linh District, Lam Dong Province.

On December 25, 2011, he met a stranger who convinced Tung to go with him to Da Lat to work, telling the boy he would make a lot of money for his parents.

When Tung agreed, the man took the boy on his motorbike to a tent deep in a forest.

Tung said there were six men, who hunted wild animals for sale, in the tent. They forced Tung to guard the tent when they went hunting, clean up the tent, wash the poached meat and do other work for them.

They threatened to beat him up if he tried to flee the forest.

On Thursday, January 26, while the hunters were absent, Tung ran away from the forest and reached the Valley of Love tourism area.

The management board of the resort contacted Tung's family and they came to pick him up.

Tung is in good health, his family said.

Local police are investigating the case further.

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