In Part 3 of this series, Tuoi Tre continues with the fate of more 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 full’.
Her dark days began in 2010 when she had to quit school at grade 9 and went to the city in search of work to support her bedridden father.
In Hai Duong province, she met Soi, a handsome, womanizing man who made her pregnant when she was just 16.
Soi often hung out with his jobless friends, the eldest of whom is Bui Van Giap, born in 1986 in Hai Duong. In August 2011, it is Giap who led two others to kidnap 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 2 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.
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 onto 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 have 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 while 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 to let 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 her buyers this time claimed to have paid VND150 million ($7,200) for her but she actually had no idea about the exact price and suspected they inflated it to enslave her for as long as possible.
Phuong was forced to take 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 probably belongs to Trinh who was sold in August 2011 when she was just 14 years old. Trinh was born into a poor family in Thai Nguyen province whose parents went to jail for drugs. 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 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 just 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 China and sold her into a brothel belonging to madam Xao, a Chinese woman who knows 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 year, then I’ll let you home”.
Thao was kept in a small room with three other girls and was taught some basic Chinese sentences like “welcome here handsome boss…do you use a condom? who will pay?...”
The Chinese manager there - A Mai, Xao’s husband - told Thao she must never reveal herself to be a 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