Three Vietnamese workers still missing in Libya

By Thu Hang, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese workers cheer after being sent home from Libya in July. Photo: V.Ha Vietnamese workers cheer after being sent home from Libya in July. Photo: V.Ha

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The whereabouts of three Vietnamese workers who went missing in Libya on July 26 remain unknown, much to the dismay of their families.
More than 1,300 Vietnamese workers have been brought home from war-torn Libya by air and land through Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey, Vietnam News Agency reported.
But Nguyen Van Nham, Vu Van Hiep and Tran Van Thu, who were sent to work in Libya by Song Da International Manpower Supply & Trading JSC (Simco Song Da) and Vinaconex Trading and Manpower JSC (Vinaconexmec), remain lost in a country quickly that's now gripped by violent chaos.
Tran Thi Thach, Nham’s wife, from the north-central province of Ha Tinh, said she called him every day but no one answered.
She said the last time he called home was on July 26. His mobile phone continues to ring, but no one answers, Thach said.
Nham’s family is struggling with financial difficulties as he was the family breadwinner. He hadn't sent money home for three months prior to his disappearance.
Do Van Hai, deputy director of Simco Song Da, said the company had not heard from Nham and been unable to reach him since July 26.
Nguyen Van Hiep, general director of Vinaconexmec, told Thanh Nien that Hiep and Thu disappeared while working their third stint in Libya.
Their two previous stints for a Libyan contractor in Benghazi had lasted two to three years each. Both are fluent in Arabic.
According to Hiep, the company instructed its officers in charge of overseeing Vietnamese workers in Libya to issue a warning for them to not willingly leave their residences or work places for safety reason following an order from the Vietnamese embassy.
But on the evening of July 26, Hiep and Thu left their residences, he said.
That night, the company sent officers to search for the pair, but they were nowhere to be found.
In the following three days, the Vietnamese embassy in Libya joined the search. The officers visited local hospitals, but found no trace of the men either among the injured or the dead.
Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, director of the Department for Overseas Labor Management under the labor ministry, said the three missing workers were stationed near the war-torn areas of Benghazi.

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