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Nam Dinh charity workers on trial in adoption scam


Sixteen former officials of medical and charity centers in Nam Dinh Province will stand in the dock today, accused of faking documents to have 266 children adopted by foreigners for a price.

Prosecutors allege that health staff and charity workers in the northern province cooperated with each other to fake documents for the purpose, earning millions of dong each from 2005 to July 2008.

They are being charged with 'abuse of power on duty.'

The accused are former employees of medical centers, the center for children with difficulties in Y Yen District, and the Social Welfare Center of Truc Ninh District.

Investigations show that officers from the two charity centers cooperated with staff at commune medical centers across the province to produce false documentation saying they were abandoned.

Tran Thi Luong and Vu Dinh Khan, directors of the two charity organizations in Y Yen and Truc Ninh Districts respectively, were also involved in the adoption scam. Each member of the ring received between VND5 million (US$279) to several dozen million dong, according to the indictment.

Luong and Khan had the children brought from different medical centers, sometimes after negotiating with women with unwanted pregnancies.

Eighteen members of the ring have been indicted and the police have put out a warrant for two people who escaped after the ring was busted last July.

Seventy witnesses and other people involved have been invited to the hearing, which is expected to last for a week.

If found guilty, the accused face jail terms of five to 10 years, prosecutors said.

Reported by Thai Son

2009 Sep 21