A photo provided by Dak Lak Province officials shows Giang Thi Do, 19, telling her story of being trafficked to China by a local man who pretended to want to marry her
Giang Thi Do returned to her village in early February after a fake marriage proposal led her all the way to China.
The 19-year-old resident of Dak Lak Province said yes to a man named Duong Van Mich last October after they'd gotten to know each other for seven months.
Mich took her away, promising to introduce her to his family in the neighboring Dak Nong Province.
But her family didn't hear from her again until she returned from China.
Local authorities are asking the Ministry of Public Security to open a special mission against human trafficking in the area, after many ethnic women have been trafficked into China and sold, Tuoi Tre recently reported.
Many consider Do lucky for being able to escape and tell her story.
She said Mich took her on 17 different buses before they reached China. When they crossed the border, he sold her to an old woman, who added her to a collection of seven other young women.
Do was then sold to a Chinese man seeking a wife.
The girl escaped his house one night in late January after he failed to come home. After finding her way to a Chinese police station, Do was eventually returned to Vietnam.
Vietnamese border police contacted her family and asked them to pick Do up on February 5.
Her father Giang Seo Khoa said that after his daughter and her would-be fiancé left, they believed that Mich’s family would show up in a few days with their wedding offerings.
“But we heard nothing and couldn't contact our daughter, so I thought she'd been sold.”
Khoa said he contacted the local authorities but they could do nothing as they didn't know Mich’s whereabouts.
Nearly half of the country’s poor households belong to ethnic minorities who live in remote areas and have little access to schooling, according to social surveys.
Those circumstances have left women in remote parts of Dak Lak vulnerable to empty promises of well-paying jobs or faux marriage proposals.
Huynh Bai, chairman of the Krong Bong District People's Committee, said more than ten local women have been sold to China in a short period.
Bai said the district has asked the Ministry of Public Security to help track down several suspected traffickers and asked the provincial authorities to establish a special team to rescue the victims.
One suspect, 36-year-old local Sung A Tinh, was detained last month while he was transferring a 20-year-old woman to a trafficker named Pang for VND10 million (nearly $480). The woman traveled with Tinh and had spoke with Pang several times over the phone before agreeing to marry him.
Police arrested Tinh and the woman on the night of March 30 at a guest house. Tinh planned to take her across the Chinese border, by bus, and deliver her to Pang.
Local authorities said at least eight victims from Cu Pui Commune still need rescuing, including two sisters Thao Thi Chia, 19, Thao Thi Phuong, 22, and the latter’s 4-month-old daughter.
The victims range between 19 and 34 years old.
The sisters are the daughters of Ly Thi Do, 39, who was brought home in March as a trafficking victim herself.
The single mother of four, who struggled to make ends meet by working a small field, was lured to China by job that would allegedly pay VND3-5 million a month.
She knew that she was scammed when she arrived in China in February, and presented her ID card to a police officer she met on the street.
Thao Thi Chia was trafficked during the time her mother was in China while her sister Phuong and the baby were sold in October, 2012.
A China Radio National report last year said that since 2009, Chinese authorities have helped rescue more than 1,800 Vietnamese women and 41 Vietnamese children trafficked into China.
Vietnamese police, meanwhile, have stopped more than 3,000 human-trafficking attempts along its border with China since 2003, rescuing around 1,200 would-be victims in 2012 alone.
A Xinhua report in late 2013 quoted Sun Xiaoying, a researcher with the Research Institute of Southeast Asia at the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, as saying that China's gender imbalance has sparked surging demand for Vietnamese wives.
Statistics from China's National Bureau of Statistics indicated that in 2012, the national sex ratio at birth in China was 117.7 boys for every 100 girls, while the normal ratio should range from 103 to 105.
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