Ho Thi Hai (right) is all emotion while talking to her mother in Quang Nam Province after 17 years missing in China as a victim of human trafficking.
To the surprise of her family and neighbors, a woman from the central province of Quang Nam has come back home 17 years after being sold to China.
Local police on Wednesday confirmed that they had been informed of the homecoming of Ho Thi Hai, 33, who went missing 17 years ago.
She was trafficked to China by a northern woman and managed to come home after running into a Vietnamese acquaintance in China early this year.
Hai said the trafficker, then around 40, came to her house and lured her her into what she described as a well-paid job in the northern highlands near the border.
She took a train to Hanoi and was brought to the border province of Lang Son, and was then made to walk through the jungle to the border.
Hai said she only knew that she was being cheated when they hit the jungle. She wanted to escape but she didn’t know the road and was guarded by two men.
When they were across the border, the woman introducing the job to her gave her two options. “One was taking a man much older than me as husband, or going to work in brothels,” Hai said.
She took the first and was brought to a man in Guangxi where they have since had six children together. Her husband gave her 10,000 Yuan (US$1,634) for the trip home.
Her mother Ho Thi Mang said the family heard nothing about Hai all these years and thought she had died.
“Now she’s back…” said the teary 70-year-old.
Local officials are helping Hai remake her personal papers so she can come back to her family in China legally. Her papers were taken by the traffickers.
Quang Nam Police last year arrested a Chinese husband and wife for trafficking three local ethnic women to China, also with job promises.
Vietnam police have busted more than 3,000 human-trafficking attempts along the country's border with China since 2003, rescuing around 1,200 would-be victims in 2012 alone.
Last December, a trafficking victim of her own Vietnamese husband came home to the north central province of Nghe An after 20 years. She had married a Chinese man and they now have three children, besides one of his own from a previous marriage.
A recent report by China Radio National said that since 2009, Chinese authorities have helped rescue more than 1,800 Vietnamese women and 41 Vietnamese children who had been trafficked into China.
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