Police in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang have arrested two men accused of smuggling ethnic minority people in Vietnam to China. Their alleged victims include the H’mong man who made international news after walking thousands of miles to Pakistan to escape brutal Chinese employers.
Vu Xi Gia, 44, and Vu Chu Mua, 52, are being investigated for the crime of smuggling people abroad. The crime is punishable by jail terms of up to seven years for the first violation and 12 years for repeated violations.
Senior Lieutenant Colonel Hau A Sach of Ha Giang Police said the duo has smuggled people to China many times before, news website Dan Tri reported.
In 2012, Gia and Mua allegedly lured Vu Gia Po to work in China by promising high wages. The pair managed to persuade Po and his six relatives to go to China and smuggled them abroad for a brokerage fee.
After several months of being brutally exploited by their employers in China, the group ran away. Three were arrested by Chinese police who later repatriated them.
Po got lost on the way home and wandered all the way to the border of Pakistan and India, after crossing thousands of miles and two militarized zones.
He survived by begging for foods and water.
Last week, Ly Mi Na, Po’s brother-in-law, arrived home after two years of wandering through the forests.
Another local, 24-year-old Vang Mi Mua, remains missing, according to local policeman Lu Van Su.