30 Hours to Rescue Four Kidnapped Chinese Children

The four Chinese children watch TV at the Southern Office of the Vietnamese General Department of Police in Ho Chi Minh City after they were rescued

On May 6, a person hired a Vietnamese taxi driver to transport four children from the northern province of Hai Duong to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. At first, the taxi driver did not know that the kids are Chinese and victims of people traffickers. 

Four “strange” passengers

In the May 6 afternoon, after driving his taxi almost 2,000 km from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Hai Duong Province in the north, V.V.C wanted to take a rest. Suddenly a man asked him to carry four children back to Ho Chi Minh City with the price of VND1.6 million. The man paid VND1 million in advance and asked for the taxi driver’s mobile phone number.

The taxi ran to Thanh Hoa Province, also in the north, then the motor got into trouble. While the driver was fixing it, the four kids woke up and cried. “I didn’t understand their language, so I guess they might be Chinese children who were kidnapped by a people trafficking ring,” the driver said. “Maybe they had been forced to take sleeping pills before the trip.”

The driver said he began being scared, but he had to complete the trip and planned to inform the police of the case.

“I remembered a friend of mine who is a policeman in Thua Thien-Hue Province and called him for help because the province is in the middle of my trip. To calm the children, I called a friend of mine in Ho Chi Minh City who can speak Chinese to talk with them via my phone. Luckily, they stopped crying and I drove directly to Thua Thien-Hue Police in the May 7 evening.

Sleepless night

At 9 AM on May 8, police major Hoang Ngoc Thach and officer Le Khanh Ha from PC14 Unit of Thua Thien-Hue Police were ordered to escort the taxi to Ho Chi Minh City to cooperate with Ho Chi Minh City Police and the Ministry of Public Security to catch the people traffickers.

The people traffickers called the driver many times to urge him to drive as fast as possible. Major Thach had to support the driver’s spirit, telling him that a trap had been set up in Ho Chi Minh City to catch the bad guys. From that time on, the Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation on Social Order (coded C14B) worked out a plan to catch them.

C14B lieutenant-colonel Le Thanh Kiem told the Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper that police had to ensure that the people traffickers will appear in Ho Chi Minh City and that the police have to rescue the kidnapped children successfully.

During the May 8 night and early May 9, many police officers were on duty in Ho Chi Minh City. Half an hour after midnight, major Thach from the taxi called to say that the people traffickers told the driver that they changed the destination and he had to deliver the kids before the sunrise. They promised a big bonus for the driver if he delivered the kids before 1 AM.

At 3 AM, the taxi arrived in Bien Hoa City, about 35 km from Ho Chi Minh City, and stopped under a police order. The driver had to tell the people traffickers that he was too tired to run fast and would not reach Ho Chi Minh City until 7 AM.

Then, the people traffickers asked the driver to transfer the children to another taxi they hired. The police let this happen.

So, in the new taxi were the four children, the taxi driver and a man in uniform of this taxi company. Police officers identified them as the taxi company’s staff, and they did not see anybody who would take the children. The taxi changed its course frequently , causing much trouble for the apprehending police. Finally, the taxi stopped at 76/10/13, Nguyen Son Street, Phu Tho Hoa Ward, Tan Phu District.

Many people witness the police raid at this house

Thirty hours after being informed by the first taxi driver, police forces of the Ministry of Public Security, Thua Thien-Hue Province and Ho Chi Minh City rescued the four Chinese children. 

People trafficking ring

Nguyen Van Tien

Nguyen Van Tien, a member of the ring, confessed to police on May 10 that he had hired the taxi owned by Le Tran Vinh in Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoc Mon District to carry the Chinese children to Tay Ninh Province on the Viet Nam-Cambodia border. They then would be brought to Cambodia.

Tien said he joined the ring in late 2005. He also said a person called L. in Ho Chi Minh City is in charge of contacting persons in northern Viet Nam and China to illegally bring Chinese children into Viet Nam, then to Cambodia, where other people traffickers buy the kids.

A source told the Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper that L. is the owner of a business making beverages to export.

On May 10, police raided houses of persons involved in the people trafficking ring.

The ‘Journey’ of the four Chinese kids

The four children are Lin Yao Yao, 14, her brother Lin Chen Yao, 12, cousin Lin Shen Kun, nine years old, and neighbor Wu Ding Yang, 11.

On May 3 in China, Lin Yao Yao’s grandfather and Yang’s two aunts flew with the four kids from Zhejiang Province to Guangchow City, and then flew to Nanning. There, a Chinese woman took over the children.

On May 5, after changing means of transport many times, the kidnappers carried them on a boat, and then by motorcycles. Boy Lin Chen Yao’s right leg was injured by the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe.

On May 6, the woman transferred the kids to another woman. Lin Yao Yao said the second woman could speak Chinese but not fluently. The children were then transferred via many people. In the afternoon, they were carried by car.

On May 7, the car entered Thua Thien-Hue Province. With the help of an interpreter, they knew they were in Viet Nam.

On May 9, the children arrived in Ho Chi Minh City and were rescued.

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Reported by Nguyen Vinh – Translated by Tuong Thuy

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