Vietnam woman jailed for trafficking women to Malaysia

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Le Thi Anh Tuyet at her appeal trial in Ho Chi Minh City on December 24. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison for human trafficking / PHOTO: LE NGA

The Ho Chi Minh City Supreme Court has upheld a 15-year jail term for a woman who was convicted of trafficking 19 women to Malaysia, where they were forced to do sex work.

According to the trial that ended Tuesday, Le Thi Anh Tuyet, 29, was working in Malaysia in 2011 when people who sold women into prostitution at karaoke and massage shops asked her to recruit Vietnamese women for them.

Tuyet then returned to her home country and convinced local women that she would send them abroad to work at karaoke shops, hotels and restaurants for VND20-50 million (US$940-2,300) a month.

She paid all fees for their trips.

As soon as they arrived in Malaysia, the women had their personal documents confiscated and were forced to work as prostitutes.

Customers paid them VND1-1.5 million per sex act, but all their income was kept by brothels' owners who claimed that the money was to pay for their trips' fees which were previously paid for by Tuyet.

Prosecutors said Tuyet sent 19 women abroad in total between January and May, and was paid more than $21,000 by her partners in Malaysia.

She was arrested in June after three of her victims managed to escape and asked for help from the Embassy of Vietnam in Kuala Lumpur.

Four other victims also successfully escaped and went home.

The rest are still trapped at brothels in Malaysia, according to prosecutors.

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