One of the greatest challenges facing the police in their fight against human traffickers is sometimes the law itself. As the Tay Ninh police have discovered, if the traffickers are only ‘transporting their victims’, but haven’t actually crossed a border and sold their captives, it’s extremely difficult to build a secure case against them. More often than not the traffickers walk free – to try again another day.This was one of the key issues highlighted at a recent police training workshop conducted by the Ministry of Public Security in collaboration with Blue Dragon.
The training brought together police from provinces around the country, with the aim of sharing their knowledge and experience in tackling human trafficking. Officers from Tay Ninh province, in southern Vietnam, are renowned for their success rate in arresting traffickers and securing convictions based on irrefutable evidence.
Clearly the workshop has made an impact. Last week, police from Vung Tau province, who had taken part in the training, painstakingly followed a group of traffickers and their victims as they made their way overland by back roads and mountain passes. Whereas previously the procedure would have been to arrest them before they left the provincial jurisdiction – at the risk of charges being dropped – on this occasion the police observed from a distance, allowing the traffickers to think they were safe.
The trail led them all the way to Noi Bai Airport – a journey of over 1,700km (1,050 miles). Heeding the advice and experience of the Tay Ninh police, the Vung Tau officers were determined to catch the criminals red handed. Waiting until the whole group had cleared customs and were about to board a flight to China, the arresting officers made their move, apprehending two traffickers and escorting three victims to safety. This proved enough for the arrest to be ratified, and the case is now moving on to court.