Police in Vietnam's Ha Tinh Province on Tuesday morning said that they had taken legal proceedings against five Vietnamese people for arranging for 11 compatriots to leave their country for Thailand illegally, leading to the deaths of six following a road accident.
The prosecuted Vietnamese include Vo Chi Cong, 34, Nguyen Ngoc Hoan, 37, Nguyen Van Hoang, 29, and Nguyen Van Thien, 29, from Tan Chau District in southern Tay Ninh Province, and Tran Van Minh, 21, from Can Loc District, Ha Tinh Province.
Cong and Minh remain in hiding.
According to case files, a group of 11 Vietnamese citizens from Ha Tinh and north-central Thanh Hoa Province, who used to work in Thailand, returned to Vietnam in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October, as these people wanted to return to Thailand for work, but faced the border closure for COVID-19 prevention and control, they sought someone who could help them cross the border.
They eventually contacted Minh who agreed to help all 11 people jump the border from Tay Ninh to Cambodia and then Thailand, providing that each of them paid him VND15 million (US$648).
While Minh and the five Tay Ninh-based assistants was taking the 11 border jumpers to Chikreng District in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap, their coach overturned in a traffic accident.
As a result, six people in the group of 11 died while five others were injured.
Authorities in Cambodia arrived at the scene to handle the crash and rushed the injured people to hospital.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia called on a number of donors to cover most of the costs for the funeral rituals and repatriation of the victims.
On November 16, representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia handed over the five surviving Vietnamese border jumpers and the bodies of the six victims to border guards in Tay Ninh and their families.