Vietnam: Orphanage staff jailed for "children trafficking"
Original Source: VNA news agency web site, Hanoi
BBC Monitoring International Reports
Hanoi, 21st January:
Fourteen offenders were handed down sentences of between 20-year and 13-month imprisonment for their involvement in the ever-biggest children trafficking case by the Provincial People's Court in An Giang southern province.
Bui Van Khanh, former chief of the civil status registration office under the An Giang Provincial Justice Department, and Dr Nguyen Kim Thanh, former deputy director of the obstetrics department under the An Giang Provincial Poly-clinics will be put in jail for 20 years. Pham Thanh Hai, former director of the centre for caring the elderly and orphans under An Giang's Red Cross Chapter, was sentenced to eight years in jail.
All these three convicts were charged of trafficking in children and accepting bribery. The children trafficking lasted from 1995 to the end of 1997 at the centre for caring the elderly and orphans under An Giang's Red Cross Chapter, involving 14 offenders.
According to the court indictment, Pham Thanh Hai, former director of the centre for caring the elderly and orphans under An Giang's Red Cross, and his deputy Pham Van Do, in over two years "proceeded procedures" for 194 cases of child adoption by foreigners under Government Decree 184/CP issued on 30th November, 1994. Only nine of these cases were legal as foreign parents made direct contacts with the centre to ask for permits to adopt 12 children. The remaining 185 cases, which involved 199 children, were made through a group of mediators namely Bui Quang Hien, Le Quoc Binh, Ung Thi Ngoc Hoa, Tran Thi Lac, and Le Thi Ai Thien. Those people in coordination with Bui Van Khanh, former chief of the civil status registration office under the An Giang Provincial Justice Department, and his deputy Pham Thi Tinh, made these children lawful for adoption procedures. As many as 156 babies were collected by Dr Nguyen Kim Thanh with the help of nurses Nguyen Thi Hang and Le Thi Thieu at the Obstetrics Department of the An Giang Provincial Poly-clinics. They made contacts with pregnant women who were in difficulties such as being divorced or carrying out-of-wedlock child to persuade them to give up their children with a promise that those children would be brought up by medical workers' relatives.
The other 55 children were sent to the centre by their own parents. According to data gathered by investigation officers, Bui Van Khanh accepted bribery worth nearly 14,000 dollars and Pham Van Do, 11,000 dollars, while Le Quoc Binh and Ung Thi Ngoc Hoa earned a combined profit of 40,000 dollars. Dr Thanh earned between 200,000 to 1m Vietnamese dong while his nurses between 50,000 and 200,000 dong each for "successfully collecting" a child.
Original Language: English
Text of report in English by the Vietnamese news agency VNA web site
Source: VNA news agency web site, Hanoi, in English 21 Jan 00/BBC Monitoring ©
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