6 Vietnamese get jail for smuggling people to Australia

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A court in Vietnam's southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau Wednesday handed down jail terms of up to 77 months to six people for smuggling people to Australia in 2010 and 2011.

The gang leader, Nguyen Dinh Chien, 48, got the maximum term of six years and five months while his henchmen received between three and six years.

According to the indictment, the gang began its people smuggling in April 2010, and demanded VND150 million (US$7,100) for providing illegal transport to Australia by sea.

A person had to pay VND40-80 million ($1,900-3,800) in advance, and the rest after reaching Australia.

On June 5, 2010, the gang sent 26 people, including Chien, on a boat to Australia, but they were arrested upon reaching the country's waters 15 days later, prosecutors said.

In September that year Chien and 15 others were deported to Vietnam.

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But the gang continued with its smuggling and sent 35 people to Australia on February 21, 2011. Once again they were arrested.

Two months later another 63 people were sent, and the result was the same. 

The gang was busted last November after the deported people filed complaints.

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