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human trafficking

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60 Vietnamese nationals collectively run for freedom from human traffickers in Cambodia

  • A group of 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners on Saturday.
  • Four people failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.
  • Cambodian authorities managed to rescue them along with 15 other victims.
  • On Wednesday, 71 Vietnamese victims were transported back to Vietnam.
  • This incident marks the second mass escape of Vietnamese nationals from a casino in Cambodia within the course of a month.

In the latest incident of the human trafficking crisis in Cambodia, 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners. 

On Saturday, a group of 60 Vietnamese people fled from a casino under heavy rain in Bavet city in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province. Four people reportedly failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.

Vietnamese consulate receives ‘constant calls day and night’ by victims of human trafficking in Cambodia

human trafficking
  • The Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, has been receiving dozens of rescue requests from victims of human trafficking on a daily basis.
  • Crime syndicates operating in Cambodia have targeted individuals from Southeast Asian countries. Thousands of people are lured by traffickers who promised them “easy jobs with high wages,” when in reality, they are exploited and held as prisoners.
  • Consul General Vu Ngoc Ly said one major issue that rescuers face is incomprehensive information given by the Vietnamese victims.
  • Several trafficking groups operate in deep forests under the guise of being legitimate companies.
  • Ly said it is important to educate people about the dangers behind “easy jobs with high pay” in foreign countries.

The Vietnamese consulate in Cambodia has been receiving dozens of rescue requests from victims of human trafficking as rescue efforts face several challenges.

Amid the ongoing human trafficking crisis in Cambodia, the Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville has been receiving numerous calls from victims on a daily basis. 

118 Malaysians, 50 Filipinos rescued from human traffickers in Cambodia

  • Human trafficking operations in Cambodia have been targeting individuals from various South East Asian countries by promising them jobs with “high wages,” when in reality, they are exploited and held as prisoners.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Saifuddin Abdullah said that 118 citizens have been rescued from human traffickers while 30 remain missing in Cambodia.
  • There were 24 Malaysians sent home on Friday while 29 others await the completion of investigations and paperwork processing at immigration centers.
  • On Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the Philippines reported that 50 Filipinos, who were recruited to work illegally in Cambodia, were also rescued and returned home.
  • Vitit Muntarbhorn, the U.N. special rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, said Cambodia must implement stronger countermeasures as well as receive better international cooperation.

According to the latest human trafficking rescue operation reports, authorities have rescued more than 100 Malaysians and 50 Filipinos who were lured to Cambodia and held as prisoners.

Out of 148 Malaysians reported missing, 118 have been rescued from human traffickers while 30 remain missing. According to Malaysia’s foreign minister, 24 citizens were sent back home on Friday and 29 others remain at immigration centers in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in Cambodia.

Vietnamese parents forced to buy back children as human trafficking crisis in Cambodia escalates

  • Chinese crime syndicates are believed to be behind the human trafficking operations in Cambodia that have targeted individuals from Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Thousands of people have been lured by human traffickers who promised them “easy jobs with high wages,” when in fact, they were taken to production facilities and casinos and held as prisoners.
  • In April, four families in Hai Phong City had to pay thousands of dollars in ransom to buy back their children after they were tricked by a close friend. 
  • On Aug. 18, 40 Vietnamese nationals managed to escape from the Golden Phoenix casino in Cambodia’s Kandal province by swimming across the Binh Di River. 
  • So far, Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities have rescued over 250 people who were lured to Cambodian casinos.

In the first half of this year, Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities have rescued 250 people who were lured to Cambodian casinos by human traffickers. In a joint operation, authorities are continuing to bring home Vietnamese nationals.

Chinese crime syndicates are believed to be behind the human trafficking operations in Cambodia that have targeted individuals from South East Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Cambodian woman acquitted of stealing $60,000 from Texas donut shop owners who trafficked her

Cambodian woman trafficked
  • Sophy Treadway, a Cambodian woman who was accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the owners of Rockport Donuts, who illegally trafficked her, was found not guilty on Aug. 17.
  • The money Treadway was accused of stealing was her tips from customers, according to Treadway’s attorney Xenos Yuen.
  • Jurors also learned that the shop’s bookkeeper was a partial owner who had no accounting experience.
  • Treadway previously filed a human trafficking lawsuit in August 2019 against the Oteros, claiming that she was forced to work at the donut shop for a salary of $75 per month.
  • The federal court sided with Treadway and awarded her $1.78 million in April.

A Cambodian woman who was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a couple who illegally trafficked her was found not guilty. 

Sophy Treadway was indicted on felony theft charges for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from Rockport Donuts owners Matthew and Sopheak Otero in Rockport City, Texas, in 2019. On Aug. 17, Treadway was found not guilty of felony theft in Aransas County. 

Man in China arrested for marrying off underage, mentally disabled daughter to 3 different men for money

  • A man in central China has been arrested for marrying off his disabled teenage daughter to three older men between 2018 and 2021 for profit.
  • Although his daughter was born in 2005, the man claimed that she was over 20 years old.
  • The man allegedly collected tens of thousands of yuan from all three men.
  • Prosecutors are currently determining whether to charge the man.

A man in central China married off his mentally disabled teenage daughter on three occasions between 2018 and 2021 to three different men for cash. 

The father, surnamed Xie, from Lianyuan Hunan province, sold his daughter Tingting to receive bride payments. He claimed that his daughter was over 20 years old, although she was born in January 2005. 

Chinese man accused of exploiting Malawian children charged with human trafficking, denied bail

  • Lu Ke, the Chinese national accused of exploiting Malawian children to make racist videos, was charged with human trafficking and denied bail on Monday.
  • A BBC Africa Eye documentary exposed Lu Ke’s money-making scheme, in which he allegedly paid children half a dollar to star in videos that sold for up to $70 each.
  • Known to the children as Susu, the Chinese national was extradited back to Malawi on Saturday from neighboring Zambia, where he fled after the documentary caused public outrage.
  • Lu Ke is being held at Maula Prison in the capital city of Lilongwe and is expected to face more charges in the next 15 days.

Lu Ke, the Chinese national accused of exploiting Malawian children to make racist videos, has been charged with human trafficking and denied bail, according to reports.

Lu Ke, 26, was handed over by Zambia to Malawi on Saturday after he fled the latter following the revelation of his alleged activities. Zambian authorities previously arrested and fined him for illegal entry and illegal stay.

Vietnamese man sold his daughter, 13, to Chinese traffickers for $4,300 to pay for medical treatment

  • Lo Pho Pheng, a 47-year-old Vietnamese father, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for selling his 13-year-old daughter to human traffickers for over 100 million Vietnamese dong (approximately $4,367).
  • Pheng, who suffered from a heart condition, met with Lo Thi Cam, 35, to propose selling his daughter in 2018 when he lacked money to pay for medical treatment for a heart condition.
  • Pheng’s daughter was transported by Moong Thi Xum, 46, and sold to a man in China but was able to escape back to Vietnam in October 2021 and file a denunciation of the crime.
  • Pheng, Xum and Cam were sentenced to 14, 13 and 12 years in prison, respectively.

A Vietnamese father from the province of Nghệ An was sentenced to 14 years in prison for selling his daughter to human traffickers. 

Lo Pho Pheng, 47, sold his 13-year-old biological daughter to a man in China for over 150 million Vietnamese dong (approximately $6,550) when he lacked the money to pay for medical treatment for a heart condition. 

Federal authorities bust Queens-based gang that sex trafficked, brutally beat Chinese women

Queens Prostitution ring
  • Nine members and associates of a Queens-based prostitution enterprise have been charged with racketeering, sex trafficking, Hobbs Act robbery and violent assaults.
  • The syndicate, which operated nationwide between April 2019 and September 2021, forced women who were mostly from China to work as prostitutes.
  • Members of the criminal enterprise hired goons who disguised themselves as customers and then assaulted and robbed at least 15 women across the U.S.
  • The defendants, who subjected their victims to brutal beatings, reportedly believed that they would not be prosecuted since the women engaged in prostitution and are not U.S. citizens.

Warning: This article contains details about sex trafficking and violent assaults. 

Federal authorities have recently busted a violent Queens-based nationwide sex trafficking and prostitution enterprise that preyed on undocumented women who were mostly from China. 

Chinese authorities admit ‘weaknesses’ in handling of Shaanxi human trafficking case

Shaanxi Province human trafficking
  • Yulin City’s government said it disciplined 13 cadres from Jiaxian County for their “neglect of duty in population management” in the handling of the 2010 missing person case of Tao Xiaoyu, a victim of human trafficking in Shaanxi Province.
  • “[The case] reflects the weak links in the city’s grass-roots social governance, care for vulnerable groups and management of public services,” the investigation report read.
  • The victim was sold by a man named Wu and his sister to a local identified as Li Limin for 8,000 yuan (approximately $1,260).
  • Li was accused of boasting online about the abuse he inflicted on his wife.
  • Tao, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia during a mental health evaluation last month, is currently being cared for along with her children.
  • Wu, his sister and others involved were arrested on March 10 and are now under investigation on suspicion of abducting and trafficking women.

Authorities in northwest China admitted there were problems with how the local government handled the case of a missing woman in 2010, whom police discovered recently to be the same victim of a high-profile human trafficking case in Shaanxi Province, China.

Yulin City’s government in Shaanxi Province said it has disciplined 13 cadres from Jiaxian County for their “neglect of duty in population management” in the handling of the 2010 missing person case, reported South China Morning Post. The victim was initially thought to be named Tang Xiaoyu, but the government’s investigation report identified her by her original surname Tao.

Thai woman saved from gang of organ harvesters after being lured by job in Cambodia, police say

Thai women organ harvest
  • A 25-year-old Thai woman was saved just moments before a gang of organ harvesters could operate on her. She was reportedly among eight Thai nationals who were rescued by Cambodian authorities on Wednesday.
  • The woman told Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn that she was lured with a job for a Chinese-operated call center in Cambodia that later turned out to be a scam operation targeting Thai people.
  • She was reportedly detained without food and tortured with electric shocks. The gang also allegedly forced her to call someone to request a ransom for her freedom.
  • The woman eventually escaped her captors and attempted to flee the city to Poi Pet on the border with Thailand by hiring a driver. The driver reportedly told the woman he had to stop to pick up another man and later suggested resting at a hotel.
  • The woman said the last moment she could remember after that was waking up in a room surrounded by what she described as surgical equipment.
  • Authorities eventually managed to find her location by tracking her phone and with the help of a witness account.

A Thai woman lured with a job for a Chinese-operated call center in Cambodia was saved from a gang of organ harvesters just moments before they could illegally operate on her, police said.

The 25-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld for her safety, recalled her ordeal at the Thai-Cambodian border town of Sa Kaeo in eastern Thailand while speaking to Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn on Wednesday evening.

Chinese authorities investigate man who allegedly boasted on social media about caging mentally ill wife

China investigation Li Limin and Xiao Yu
  • Authorities in China's Shaanxi Province are now investigating a local villager who was accused of bragging about abusing his wife while livestreaming on Kuaishou, a local TikTok-like video-sharing app.
  • The man, identified as Li Limin, was jobless and often held livestreams. To allegedly make his streaming more interesting for his viewers, he shared stories about abusing his wife, Tang Xiaoyu.
  • Screenshots included in Xianshidemuyang’s WeChat post about Li showed alleged ligature and burn marks on Tang’s body. Several netizens have accused Li of causing Tang’s mental disorder since he would beat her often and confine her whenever she attempted to flee.
  • Li was also accused of taking Tang from the side of a road in 2009, forcing her to marry him and holding her against her will since then.
  • Unconfirmed sources who reached out to Xianshidemuyang claimed that Tang looks similar to Wang Guohong, a student from Qinghai Province who went missing in 2009.

Authorities in China’s Shaanxi Province said they are now investigating a Chinese man for allegedly abusing his mentally ill wife and locking her in an iron cage.

The allegation was reportedly posted on WeChat by the public account Xianshidemuyang (The Look of Reality), claiming that the man, identified as Li Limin, had previously boasted about abusing his wife, Tang Xiaoyu, on his Kuaishou account.