Myanmar authorities recently rescued 166 Vietnamese citizens, among hundreds of other foreigners, from fraudulent casinos in its northern border areas, and took them to a shelter where they are waiting for repatriation, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
The ministry’s spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang made the confirmation at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon.
All the Vietnamese nationals had been taken to a place in a northern Myanmar area bordering China for temporary stays, waiting for repatriation to their homeland, Hang said.
However, this place is one of the areas where the fighting between Myanmar's army and resistance fighters is going on, making it difficult for agencies concerned to access and protect the rescued people, the spokeswoman stated.
The ministry has been working with the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar, Vietnamese representative agencies in China, and other relevant bodies to carry out citizen protection measures, she added.
The spokesperson emphasized that the embassy is coordinating with Myanmar authorities to complete procedures to bring the rescued Vietnamese home as soon as possible.
For the time being, the embassy asked the host administration to ensure security, safety, accommodation, and food for these citizens.
The ministry recommended that Vietnamese citizens should avoid traveling to the conflict-hit Myanmar northern states of Shan and Kayin, and that those living in the two localities should evacuate to a third country or return to Vietnam as soon as they can.
Vietnamese nationals in Myanmar should keep themselves updated on warnings from the ministry and the embassy, as well as on information and instructions from the host country’s authorities for timely and effective responses, the ministry advised.
In case of emergency, Vietnamese citizens in Myanmar may contact the citizen protection hotlines at +95 9660888998 of the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar or at +84 981848484 or +84 965411118 of the foreign ministry’s Consular Department.