Escapee helps police rescue women kept like slaves in Saigon karaoke parlor

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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(From R) Nguyen Xuan Thanh, his wife Nguyen Thi Kieu and two employees at their karaoke parlor have been arrested in Ho Chi Minh City as a victim accused them of forcing waitresses to serve customers overnight. Photo: Nguyen Bao (From R) Nguyen Xuan Thanh, his wife Nguyen Thi Kieu and two employees at their karaoke parlor have been arrested in Ho Chi Minh City as a victim accused them of forcing waitresses to serve customers overnight. Photo: Nguyen Bao

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A woman has managed to escape a karaoke parlor in Ho Chi Minh City where she was kept like a prisoner, helping police rescue four other victims this week. 
Police arrived at the parlor in District 2 on Tuesday and discovered that the women, all around 20 years old, were locked in a room with guards standing outside.
An officer said they were informed by a 23-year-old woman who escaped with the help of two customers.
The woman, only identified as B., said she was looking for a job online and a broker introduced her to the karaoke parlor last week.
Her contract described the job as serving foods and water to customers, but she actually had to sit by them through the night to provide intimate service. 
It’s not clear if that involved sex. 
After two days, she asked to quit, so a manager had her locked up to scare her.
Modern slavery
B. said most of her colleagues, who came from poor provinces from southern and central Vietnam, also wanted to leave after knowing about the real jobs they had to do.
So the shop assigned several men to watch them all day, and had them locked in a room during closing hours, she said.
When B. and another colleague were serving two customers last Saturday, they talked about their situation and the men helped them run away.
Some people from the parlor followed them and caught one of the two victims. B. managed to escape and ran straight to the police.
Police have arrested the parlor’ owners Nguyen Thi Kieu, 45, her husband Nguyen Xuan Thanh, 48, and two male employees for investigation into charges of illegal detention.
They are looking for two employees who were accused of directly threatening the women and even physically attacking them.
Kieu said her shop paid brokerage agencies VND1 million (US$47) for each woman they could find.

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