Ho Chi Minh City police have rescued a woman who was allegedly trafficked into China, forced to marry an abusive husband and ransomed back to her family in the Mekong Delta.
Police said they stopped three Chinese nationals as they escorted the 34-year-old woman, whose initials are V.T.A, through Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Thursday.
Peng Zhang Mei, 54, was arrested at the scene; the two other suspects fled.
Police arrested Mei after A's elder sister contacted them claiming that A been trafficked into China in March.
In subsequent interviews with the police A. said she had been lured to China by a Ho Chi Minh City woman known as Ut. She claimed to have met Ut in February of this year, after moving to HCMC from the Mekong Delta Province of Bac Lieu in search of work.
Ut promised A. a high-paying job in China and took her to apply for a passport.
About one month later, Ut took her to a hotel to meet with several Chinese men, she said.
Later that day, A. was flown to Hanoi and driven into China across the border in Lang Son Province.
After she arriving in China, the woman said, she was forced to marry Chuong Tuyen Minh, who continuously beat her throughout their marriage.
When she insisted on being returned to Vietnam, Minh demanded VND15 million (US$716) for her release, according to A.
On June 6 A called her sister and asked her to pay the sum to Ye Yong Quan, a Chinese man, who was staying at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Her sister told police that she contacted Quan and Minh's younger brother, Chuong Tuyen Phi, in China, by telephone regarding all the transactions.
She said after receiving the money, Quan and Phi demanded another VND15 million to complete divorce procedures.
Because A's sister could not afford the demand, she called the police, who took Quan in for questioning. Police say that Quan provided information on the other suspects.
After going back and forth on the location of the ransom drop, A's alleged captors cut off contact and brought her back to HCMC, police said.
Meanwhile, Mei, who was caught escorting A. to Vietnam, claimed Phi was just a friend of hers who asked her to do him a favor.
The case remains under investigation.
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