Two teenagers rescued from forced prostitution in Laos

By Nguyen Phuc, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese border guards in Quang Tri Province have arrested two women suspected of trafficking two teenage neighbors to Laos and forced them to work as prostitutes.
A source from Quang Tri Border Guard Command on Wednesday said they arrested Pham Thi Tuyen, 39, at a karaoke parlor in Laos and Phan Thi Bich Thuy, 57, at her home in the nearby Nghe An Province on Oct. 27.
The two victims, aged 13 and 17, were rescued from the karaoke parlor in Muang Phin, Savanakhet, and brought back to Vietnam.
Initial investigation found that Tuyen, who lived in Laos, hired Thuy to lure the two Vietnamese girls to Laos four months ago. Thuy was paid VND20 million (US$941) for each girl she brought to Tuyen.
The girls were promised well paid jobs at a cafeteria in Laos, but instead were forced into sex work.
The 17-year-old, identified as Cut Thi S., said once she’s in Laos, Tuyen seized her personal papers and forced her into prostitution at Tuyen's karaoke parlor. She sent gangsters to threaten her for any disobedience.
S. did not know the price of her service as Tuyen never paid her.
“She forced me to serve five to seven customers a day, even on days I was tired. She said she kept my wages to deduct for the money she paid for bringing me to Laos.”
For the same reason, Quang Thi T., the 13-year-old victim, was not paid except for the first time, when Tuyen gave her 1.5 million Kip ($186) for her virginity.
T.’s mother said Thuy, a neighbor, was all in sweet words when she met her to talk about a job at a coffee shop in Laos that would pay VND3 million ($141) a month.
As the family is poor after her husband died 11 years ago, the mother agreed to let her daughter to work, only for her to sold to Tuyen.
The girls said they were locked inside the karaoke parlor. Both have suffered physical and mental trauma.
S. had to be sent to hospital after developing seizures. She had an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried, forcing doctors to remove her oviduct.

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