Vietnamese victims of Thai surrogacy racket to return home

TN News

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The 15 Vietnamese women who were rescued from an illegal surrogacy ring in Thailand last week will be sent back to Vietnam next week, Thai health minister told Thanh Nien Monday.


Investigations showed that the women, seven of whom are currently pregnant and another two have delivered, were victims, and they would receive support to return home, according to Jurin Laksanavisit.


Thailand suggested that the babies should be born in Vietnam, because under its regulations, babies born via surrogacy are not likely to receive Thai citizenship.


After being rescued from two houses of the 101 Babies Company in the suburban area of Bangkok on Feb 23, the women told police that they were cheated into working as surrogate mothers and had been paid US$5,000 per baby.


Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Thailand.


Pham Minh Tuan, representative of the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok, said that Vietnam was willing to support the women return home.


Meanwhile, Thavio Changto, investigator from the Thai police, said so far they have arrested five Taiwanese and Myanmar nationals in the ring for human trafficking.


A Taiwanese operator, who opened his business in Thailand in 2009, was also arrested, the Bangkok Post reported, adding that the company had offices in Thailand and Cambodia.


Previous reports had said that the operator, Xieng Lung Lo, charged US$50,000 per surrogacy and advertised his services via telephone and Internet.


All the suspects were expected to stand trial this week, while the Vietnamese women would be witnesses, Changto said.


At a meeting held on Monday, related agencies also decided to take legal actions against "medical premises and doctors involved in the artificial insemination of the women," the Post said.


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