dpa German Press Agency
Published: Friday October 6, 2006

Hanoi- A 22-year-old Vietnamese woman who was trafficked into China as a child has been arrested on charges she herself sold girls as young as 14 over the border, police and local press said Friday. Le Thi Cuc was taken into custody Wednesday by Chinese police after a joint investigation and handed over to Vietnamese authorities, according to a Hanoi police investigator.

According to Vietnamese press, Cuc was sold into China when she was 11 years old and later teamed up with another woman to come back to Vietnam and procure other girls.

At least two girls, ages 14 and 18, were later sold over the border by Cuc for about 600 dollars each, according to Thanh Nien newspaper.

The newspapers did not say what happened in China to Cuc or the girls she allegedly sold. Vietnamese girls who are trafficked often end up as unwilling wives to Chinese men, or else in brothels or working as domestic servants.

Chinese officials recently reported that human trafficking from Vietnam appears to be on the rise, with 167 cases reported so far this year, 64 per cent more than the previous year.

Vietnam has launched pilot anti-trafficking programmes in 30 rural communes to educate parents in areas where poverty and lack of opportunity make families more likely to allow children to be sent away for job opportunities.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency

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“Vietnamese Cultural Days in Egypt” – Vietnam’s largest cultural activity in the northern African country since they established their diplomatic ties, opened in Cairo in the evening of September 30.

At the opening ceremony, Egyptian Deputy Minister of Culture Anwar Ibrahim spoke highly of Vietnam’s culture, saying it is a combination of national identities and the tradition of driving away foreign aggressors and construction, especially its current renewal achievements.

Tran Chien Thang, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture and Information, expressed his hope that this cultural activity would help the Egyptian people better understand Vietnam, thereby contributing to the enhancement of the traditional friendship between the two nations.

During the ceremony, Vietnamese artists performed a number of traditional dances and introduced costumes and musical instruments of Vietnamese ethnic groups.

Photo exhibitions of the land and people of, as well as talks on Vietnam will be also held within the framework of “Vietnamese Cultural Days in Egypt” which will last until October 5. (VNA)