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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Vietnam jails six for trafficking
Six people have been jailed by a court in Vietnam for sending more than 120 women to be sold in Malaysia.

Tran Thi My Phuong, 35, received a 12-year term for human trafficking from the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court.

Five others, including her Taiwanese husband, received sentences of up to 10 years.

Judge Tran Thi Hong Viet said the gang had promised to find the women husbands in Malaysia, but instead they were sold to a broker and put up for resale.

Overseas marriage is seen by some women in Vietnam as a route out of poverty and the practise is widespread in some rural areas.

But many women fall foul of unscrupulous brokers and are sold into prostitution, while others are forced into marriages that they do not want.

'Transnational network'

According to the judge, 126 women were trafficked to Malaysia between April 2005 and June 2006.

Depending on their age and looks, the women were sold for between US$1,500 (736) and $2,000 to a broker in Malaysia.

They were then sold in bars for as much as $6,300 to mostly elderly or disabled men, the Associated Press news agency quoted her as saying.

The police learned about the case when some of the women returned to Vietnam, she said.

"This is the largest transnational women's trafficking network to be broken up by Vietnamese police," the French news agency AFP quoted court official Nguyen Thi Hong as saying.

"We have punished the defendants severely because they have seriously harmed the dignity of Vietnamese women."

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