Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday caught three Korean nationals including a marriage broker choosing Vietnamese brides from among 17 women paraded for them.
Among the Vietnamese caught at the scene were a translator, three brokers who also supplied the bride candidates between 18 and 20 years of age.
The Korean husbands-to-be and broker were picked up at the Tan Son Nhat Airport and taken straight to the house in Binh Chanh District where the Vietnamese women were paraded in front of them.
The translator, Nguyen Thi Tuoi, 26, who directly dealt with the Korean broker, told the police she had so far provided her services for three illegal marriage brokerages for Korean men at the same house this year for US$25 a day.
The suppliers of the girls will get a further VND2.8 million (US$144.30) for each one chosen by the Korean men, Tuoi said.
Most of the girls were brought from their families in the Mekong Delta. They stayed with the suppliers, were served daily meals and VND300,000 ($15.46) a month.
Police are investigating the case further.
Over the last two decades, poverty has driven thousands of women from poor families, especially the Mekong Delta, to marry older men, mainly from South Korea and Taiwan, despite language and cultural barriers.
Many of them are alienated and mistreated.
Statistics from the South Korean Consulate General in HCMC show that around 27,500 Vietnamese women had been granted marriage visas by 2008 and around 8,000 such visas were granted in 2009 alone.
This means around 35,500 Vietnamese women had migrated to South Korea after marriage by the end of 2009.
Most of these marriages were arranged by illegal brokers.