Authorities have busted a ring that smuggled at least 13 Vietnamese people into Thailand through Laos for illegal work amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Border Guard Command in the north-central province of Quang Tri announced on Wednesday that they were looking into a human smuggling ring which is enabling the transport of Vietnamese people into neighboring Laos.
Border patrol authorities in Lao Bao, an international border crossing between Vietnam and Laos, were working with the provincial anti-narcotics forces at around 11:00 pm on Sunday when they caught 13 individuals trying to get into Lao.
These individuals confessed to law enforcement officials that they hail from the north-central Vietnamese provinces of Ha Tinh and Thanh Hoa.
Earlier, at around 1:00 pm on the same day, the group reportedly boarded a coach from Ha Tinh Province to Dong Ha, a city in Quang Tri Province.
They were then taken to another vehicle on the way to the Lao Bao International Gate before arriving at a local hostel.
A man whose name, age, and home address are still unknown provided them with food and accommodations before transporting them to Laos overnight.
The group’s aim was to make an illegal entry into Laos before moving on to neighboring Thailand in order to find work.
Each person allegedly had to pay the trafficking organizer and broker a total of VND17 million (US$735).
Border police officers are carrying out a further investigation into the smuggling ring.
They have also seized the 13 individuals’ passports and other identification documents for verification.