Two persons detained for trafficking women to Malaysian brothels

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Ho Chi Minh City police have detained a man and a woman, both 29, who are suspected of trafficking many women to Malaysian brothels from March last year.

Investigations show that Vo Thi Thanh Thuy and Ngo Trong Hieu had tricked many young jobseekers from the Mekong Delta to go to Malaysia by lying to them about well-paid vending jobs at supermarkets, which would allow them to save VND20 million (US$954) a month after food and accommodation.

Thuy is from An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta while Hieu is a native of HCMC.

In one case, Thuy approached two women, Huong and Loan, in December last year just as they arrived at a bus station in the city, hoping to find jobs.

She convinced the women to go to Malaysia by paying for the flights and immigration procedures, giving them VND20 million in advance and their families VND12 million, and taking them shopping to prepare for the trip.

Thuy said she would take the money back once the women earned money in Malaysia.

Immediately after the women arrived in Malaysia on December 24, they were taken to a hotel where its Malaysian owner Lan Pan forced them into prostitution. Pan and others beat the women, locked them in the room and starved them after the two refused to provide to service clients.

But they could not refuse forever. They eventually began having sex with men for US$63 each time, all of which was shared by Lan Pan and Thuy in Vietnam.

The women were tired after serving many customers a day, but the traffickers said they had to pay VND45 million each to return to Vietnam.

Huong and Loan had called home to asked their families to borrow money to pay Thuy.

The families in January paid Thuy VND6 million in advance to buy the flight tickets.

They then told the police, who arrested Thuy in January after the girls arrived safely at the Tan Son Nhat Airport.

Thuy told the police that by December 26, she had received $1,300 from Lan Pan as one-third of the payment for providing the girls. She would receive $19 each time a girl served customers.

She confessed she had cheated 10 women into going to Malaysia since working at the hotel as a masseuse in March 2011. A victim named Trang from HCMC had been rescued by her family but others are still stuck in Malaysia, she said.

Hieu's role in the ring was to carry the women around and keeping watch before they were sent to Malaysia.

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