July 8, 2009: The news round-up for human trafficking and Vietnam has some good news for a change: a major swoop on a criminal ring in Taiwan that ran a fictitious marriages racket. Also in the news is a conference in Phnom Penh at which delegates from Southeast Asian countries took aim at cross-border trafficking for the sex trade, which continues to claim Vietnamese victims.
First, the good news: In Taiwan’s northern area of Keelung, police busted what they called a “major” human trafficking ring. According to a July 3 report by Radio Taiwan International, police discovered that some of the men involved in the ring’s fake marriage scheme had also served as the fictitious husbands of women from Vietnam, among other countries. Twenty-three suspects are in custody.
Meanwhile, a meeting of Southeast Asian nations’ delegates in Phnom Penh wrapped up July 7 with a series of recommendations for curbing human trafficking. The Phnom Penh Post reported the next day that delegates outlined policies “expected to improve cooperation and standardize the implementation of trafficking laws.”
The weekly paper quoted Chou Bun Eng, the chair of Cambodia’s High Level Working Group to Combat Human Trafficking, as saying that the two-day conference “marked the first time that Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia and Cambodia had gathered to address the problem of cross-border human trafficking.”