China investigates 100 missing Vietnamese women

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Police in China are investigating a human trafficking case where 100 Vietnamese women "bought" in as wives went missing in the central province of Hunan, local Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.

According to the news source, the probe was launched after media reported that some husbands of the missing women received phone calls asking them to pay ransoms.

It quoted one of the husbands, Hu Jianhe, as saying that his wife called him after going missing for two months. The wife said she was kidnapped and sold to a remote village.

The Vietnamese wife, whom he bought in 2008 for 36,388 yuan (US$5,686), said to take her back, he needs to pay 20,000 yuan ($3,130) in ransoms, Hu said in Xinhua.

After some hesitations, given that the woman wasn't his legal wife, Hu together with another husband Hu Qiulai, both from the remote mountainous village in Shuangfeng County of Hunan, reported the incidents to police.

According to Xinhua, the county's public security bureau has set up a special team to investigate the reported women trafficking and marriage fraud.

The bureau is identifying the exact number of missing women, because many husbands probably refused to report to police for fear of being accused of human trafficking, it quoted the bureau as saying.

Since September last year, the bureau has received two cases in which four Vietnamese wives were found to be victim of trafficking, the news source reported.

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