Four people were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City for their suspected involvement in commercial surrogacy, local police said on Tuesday.
One of the arrestees is a Chinese man and the others Vietnamese women.
The foreigner, Cai Guo Lin, 37, came to Hanoi in September last year and asked a local woman named Hoang Thi Thu Trang to be his interpreter and help him find a would-be surrogate mother who would receive an embryo created with in vitro fertilization.
Cai agreed to pay Trang VND5 million (US$215) if she succeeded in seeking one.
Trang came into contact with Trieu Thi Hang, whom she asked to look for a surrogate in exchange for VND300 million ($12,900).
Hang then introduced the first potential surrogate mother to Cai and got VND100 million ($4,300) from him.
In November, six more surrogate mothers-to-be were brought to the Chinese man by a Vietnamese woman known as Nguyen Thi Mai Anh.
The foreigner, the interpreter Trang, Hang and Anh took the surrogates from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City the following month so that they could be easily transported to Cambodia for a surrogacy operation.
But while staying in the southern metropolis, one of the would-be surrogates made a phone call to her family over fear that she would be trafficked by the Chinese man.
On the family’s tip-off, the municipal police took the four people in custody during a raid on the hotel they were staying.
Vietnam has outlawed commercial surrogacy since 2016 and conviction for the crime may lead to a punishment of to up to five years in prison.