Sex in border areas: P3 Kidnap and abortion
Updated : 09/12/2012 13:07 GMT + 7
In Part 3 of this series, Tuoi Tre continues to explore human trafficking in border areas with the fates of more young victims, one of whom is Chu Thi Phuong of Ha Tinh Province, who was kidnapped in broad daylight when she was just 16 years old and had to undergo a forced abortion.
The mastermind behind the scheme is her boyfriend, who made her pregnant.
In a brothel managed by madam Ho in Linh Coong town of Guangdong province, 17-year-old Phuong is the youngest and the most sought-after, but also suffers the most beatings, as she always looks sad and often refuses to serve clients ‘to the fullest.’
Her dark days began in 2010, when she had to quit school in grade 9 and go to the city in search of work to support her bedridden father.
In Hai Duong province, she met Soi, a handsome, womanizing man who got her pregnant when she was just 16.
Soi often hung out with his jobless friends, the eldest of whom was Bui Van Giap, born in 1986 in Hai Duong. In August 2011, it was Giap who led the two others in kidnapping her while she was staying at a friend’s house in Tu Ky district.
When she refused, Giap took out a scimitar and threatened her. She was just two months, 10 days pregnant when she was forced onto a motorbike to be taken to an isolated house in the middle of a field in Quang Trung commune, Tu Ky district.
Here, Phuong met other girls being kept there.
A barber's and massage shop that mainly caters to men's needs (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
They removed the battery from Phuong’s mobile phone and took her to Mong Cai border gate in Quang Ninh province, saying they needed to fetch some products there. They threatened to kill her if she refused.
On the night of August 28, 2011, upon reaching Mong Cai, she was made to cross the border and met a fat woman who took her into Dongxing town in Guangxi province where she was forced into a taxi, then a motorbike taxi.
They crossed a forest to arrive at Linh Coong in Guangdong.
At this point, the kidnappers still appeared to be nice, promising to take her home once they had collected some goods.
She was afterwards met by a Chinese man and Vietnamese woman who took her to a house where she rested and slept. When she woke up, her mobile phone and travelling companions were gone, and the Vietnamese woman shouted, “You have been sold. Why do you need a mobile phone?. Do you have 100,000 yuans [US$15,800] to pay me?”. She instructed several pimps to stand guard, not letting Phuong escape.
“But I am pregnant,” she cried.
Upon hearing the news, the brothel manager frowned, talked to others for a time, then called someone on the phone. Phuong was sold the next day to a Chinese couple also in Linh Coong.
Phuong told Tuoi Tre that her buyers claimed to have paid VND150 million ($7,200) for her, but she actually had no idea about the exact price and suspected they had inflated it to enslave her for as long as possible.
Phuong was forced to have an abortion immediately, several days after which she was requested to serve clients. Due to insufficient recovery time, she developed infections and could not take in customers, hence angering the couple.
In this brothel, Phuong knew more Vietnamese girls with the same fate, like Linh, born in 1992 in Hanoi, or Trang, born in 1994 in Nam Dinh, Ha from Tuyen Quang…
The most deplorable case is probably Trinh, who was sold in August 2011, when she was just 14 years old. Trinh, whose parents went to jail for drugs, was born into a poor family in Thai Nguyen province.
Once out of money to pay for the Internet, she met Giap’s group, who promised to pay the Internet fee in return for her going out with them. Soon after, she was sold to a brothel in China.
Apartment blocks in Linh Coong where many Vietnamese women are kept (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Always speak Chinese
Nguyen Thi Thao, another victim, told Tuoi Tre that one of her friends was beaten to death at the age of 15 for refusing to take in customers.
Last year, Thao left her hometown in Hoa Binh province for Hanoi to find work where, similar to others, she fell in love with a Hanoi guy named Minh, who is in fact a human trafficker.
Minh tricked her into going to China and sold her into a brothel belonging to madam Xao, a Chinese woman who speaks some Vietnamese, in Linh Coong.
On her first day, Xao announced, “I bought you for 40,000 yuans (US$6,300). Try to work here for one and a half years, and then I’ll let you go home.”
Thao was kept in a small room with three other girls and was taught some basic Chinese sentences like “Welcome, handsome boss…do you use a condom? Who will pay?...”
The Chinese manager there - A Mai, Xao’s husband - told Thao that she must never reveal herself to be Vietnamese, even in front of Vietnamese customers, and always speak Chinese.
If anyone violates this rule, A Mai threatened to beat them, starve them and even sell them to crueler places.
To be continued