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Police to target websites touting foreign brides

Zhang Yan
Updated: Sep 15,2014 11:02 AM     China Daily

Police will take action against websites that offer “group-purchase brides” from Southeast Asian countries, as they are actually involved in human trafficking.

“In recent days, some cross-border marriage brokerages or websites have been publishing tempting advertisements to introduce Vietnamese brides for cross-border marriages, but most of these involve kidnappings,” said Wang Ying, deputy director of the office that combats human trafficking at the ministry’s criminal investigation bureau.

In China, where sons are usually preferred, the ratio of boys and girls is unbalanced, which has resulted in a huge group of bachelors. For some single men in rural areas, the cost of marrying a Chinese woman is so high that marriage to a foreign wife is a viable solution.

That also creates a “business” for human-trafficking groups that bring women from Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia to China.

In December, police in East China’s Fujian province uncovered 100 human trafficking cases involving Vietnamese women and rescued 28 victims.

Police arrested 62 suspects, including some who participated in illegal marriage agencies.

According to Wang, some marriage agencies organize Chinese men through websites that promote “group purchases” in the name of travel, and arrange dates for them with local women.

She said the agencies target local young women from rural areas in their 20s and 30s and tell them they could become brides of rich Chinese men in big cities.

“Once their client takes a liking to a foreign girl, they cheat her and persuade her to have a wedding in Vietnam, then charge their male client 30,000 yuan ($4,800) to 50,000 yuan as a service charge,” Wang said.

According to the ministry, apart from being “sold” in rural Chinese areas as brides of local villagers, some Vietnamese girls were forced to provide sex services in underground prostitution dens in China’s coastal or border areas, such as Yunnan and Guangdong provinces, or the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

“Police will conduct regular actions to combat trafficking of foreign women, and pay more attention to key areas, such as bus stations, docks and small roads in the fields or mountains where traffickers easily pass,” Wang said.

On Sept 14, Myanmar also said it will draw up and implement a subregional action plan for the years 2014 to 2018 in collaboration with ASEAN members and China in an increased effort to crack down on human trafficking.

Myanmar authorities said they have arrested 211 human traffickers and rescued 105 victims this year.

Liu Fang, a lawyer from the All China Lawyers Association, said more law enforcement cooperation is needed between China and Southeast Asia to curb human trafficking.

“More efforts are required in terms of intelligence sharing and case investigation, as well as transferring and repatriating the suspects,” she said.

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