Vietnamese Labor Broker Sentenced For Trafficking Workers to Taiwan

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Jailed Vietnamese labor broker Phan Van Loi is shown in an undated photo released by state media on Oct. 31, 2019.
Jailed Vietnamese labor broker Phan Van Loi is shown in an undated photo released by state media on Oct. 31, 2019.

A court in north-central Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province on Thursday sentenced a labor broker convicted of sending workers illegally overseas to a five-year term in prison, state media reported on Thursday.

Phan Van Loi, described by prosecutors as a “tycoon” in his trafficking organization, had worked with relatives living in Taiwan in early 2018 to bring 48 Vietnamese onto the self-governing island, charging each migrant U.S. $6,500, with $500 paid in advance, media sources said.

Of the 48 workers sent illegally to Taiwan after crossing Vietnam’s border with China, two died after their vessel capsized at sea, and 28 were discovered en route and arrested by Taiwan’s coast guard.

The People’s Court of Ha Tinh’s Nghi Xuan district handed Phan a five-year term, considered lenient, after Phan confessed his wrongdoing and pointed to what he called “meritorious contributions” made by his family to Vietnam’s communist revolution, state media said.

News of Phan’s sentencing came as U.K. authorities worked this week to identify the bodies of 39 victims, many of them believed to be Vietnamese, found in a refrigerated truck on an industrial estate near London on Oct. 23.

Thirty families from four north-central provinces of Vietnam have come forward to report losing contact with their family members in the wake of the discovery, with police in Nghe An saying that 18 families had lost contact, while Ha Tinh recorded 10 families saying their loved ones could not be reached.

Meanwhile, Nghe An’s Public Security Service on Oct. 29 announced the arrest of four members of a government-licensed workers’ consultancy and training center who had conspired to fraudulently recruit Vietnamese workers to travel to Australia, state media reported.

Named in the indictment against them were Le Duy Anh, 40, Tran Thi Thanh, 60, Ho Thi Hang, 54, and Tran Thi Ha, 45, media sources said, adding that from September 2015 to January 2019 the group had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars and over 400 applications from workers hoping to make the trip but had yet to send anyone abroad.

According to statistics from Vietnam’s Foreign Labor Department, in the first nine months of 2019, more than 104,000 Vietnamese workers went abroad to work, an increase of 2.15 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

State media in Ha Tinh province reported that in the first eight months of 2019, nearly 42,000 people moved out of the province. Among them, many went abroad to work illegally, the reports said.

Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces were the regions hardest hit by a major toxic spill in April 2016 by a steel plant owned by Formosa Plastics Group, a large Taiwan-owned industrial conglomerate, that contaminated more than a hundred miles of coastline in four coastal provinces and devastated fishing communities.

Many Vietnamese households send their children abroad to make a living, especially through illegal labor, Vietnamese analysts say, often amassing crushing debt to pay for air tickets and smugglers’ fees.

Beyond poor job prospects, environmental disasters and government repression on Catholics drive immigration, they say.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Channhu Hoang and An Nguyen. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (4)

Anonymous Reader

He might as well smuggle them to red China
where they'd become experts in marxism-lennism.

Nov 01, 2019 01:34 PM

Hate Communist

from get bac Ho

Uh-duh lemme see, $7k US dollar is about $154M VNmese Dong!
How many people that this guy shipped so far?
This is a national embarrassment!!!
After 44 yrs of peace and these stupid communist goons haven't raised an economy that would sustain its population. Can't even emulate the northern evil empire on privatizing - let alone cracking the sacred cow called Free-Enterprising. But they would resort to begging for table scraps! As if it's a honorable thing to do.

After 44 yrs of peace and these stupid communists haven't learned to live peacefully with the people. Can't respect free thinkers, people of both social and environmental conscious, and people of faith that love to improve VN.
But they would cry wolf every time the free-world brings up the humane issues.
Now, the dam has burst!
So, what do they do best? Go around and intimidate the victim families, try the gag rule on them, and pretend business as usual so they would lose face!
It's kind of late for that don't you think?
You aren't in England to eradicate 39 bodies! Their bodies are for the world to see how pitiful your systems are. Your systems are utterly a shamble. Their deaths are the courageous tales of the desperate people and the sacrifices that they are willing to take so they can one day taste and feel freedom.
Thus, don't try to put a bandage on this horrific national embarrassment.
Moving forward, what you need is to correct the aforementioned things above for it's the right things to do.
Heaven forbid, if you can get your heads out of the cesspool!

[This comment has been edited by RFA Editorial staff per our Terms of Use]

Nov 01, 2019 12:04 PM

Mary Ho

from usa

Unlike the other North Central provinces of Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên–Huế, these poor souls of Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh have been influencing/indoctrinating by their greedy, Vatican-oriented Catholic rulers who negatively, distort Vietnam's development and cause outbound exodus! Not only they take illegal immigration route, their journeys...
It has nothing to do with toxic spill, poor soils nor government policies and everything to do with bigger houses, larger churches and blind beliefs in alternative authorities of their religion.
Fix this issue and they will come around to joint other thriving and happy Vietnamese. Every tree always occasionally, produces bad fruits. Every orchard always has some crooked trees.

Nov 01, 2019 10:54 AM


from Vietiane

In LAOS They are not trafficking VIETNAMESES IN THERE They just move in there and live there and later they will say Laos is their country because they live there long time and they will say all stolen Lao Land are theirs because they live there long time

Nov 01, 2019 05:18 AM





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