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Nine convicted, sentenced in foreign adoption ring


Associated Press Archive

Dateline: HANOI, Vietnam

Nine people have been convicted of child trading and bribery in a scheme that sold children for foreign adoption, a court official said Friday. Two were sentenced to 20-year prison terms.

Lam Phuoc Nghia, chief of the An Giang provincial criminal court, said the ring solicited 199 children from destitute families or unwed mothers for $30 to $50 each and sold them to residents of France, United States, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium for $2,000 each.

The ring pocketed the equivalent of nearly $43,000 during 1995-97, a huge sum in a country with an annual average per capita income of $370.

After a trial that ended Thursday, Le Quoc Binh, the broker and key defendant, and Bui Van Khanh, a senior official in the provincial justice department, were convicted and given 20-year sentences, Nghia said. Binh's wife, Ung Thi Ngoc Hoa, was convicted and sentenced to a 5-year term.

The other defendants were given lesser sentences.

2000 Jan 21