Five Cambodian women allegedly being trafficked to China to marry Chinese men were repatriated last week after police found them traveling by boat out of Vietnam, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Friday.
The women, aged 16 to 32, had been promised $840 to $1,500 by traffickers to marry Chinese men, but most had not received any payments, ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said.
The women arrived in Vietnam on September 8 and were headed toward China when they were intercepted, he said, adding that the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam brought the five to Hanoi on September 17, where an international NGO cared for them until they returned on October 22.
“We worked with the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh to stop trafficking by air—then we discovered trafficking by boat,” Mr. Sounry said.
Trafficking of would-be brides has been a problem for many years, with ringleaders frequently tricking women into making the journey and changing routes to evade police.
Traffickers began to move women overland in the past couple of years to avoid air routes that require visas.
Passage by sea was discovered last year, Mr. Sounry said.