It was the first time the crime has gone to the city’s court.
The five defendants in the case were Chinese nationals Cai Guolin, 37 and Cai Guofang, 54; Trieu Thi Hang, 41, from the central province of Thanh Hoa, Hoang Thi Thu Trang, 27, from the northern province of Hung Yen; and Nguyen Thi Ngoc, 19, from Bac Ninh province.
At the first-instance trial, the two Chinese men received 36 months and 30 months in prison, respectively, while Hang and Trang both got 20 months. Ngoc will serve 15 months in prison.
They must also pay fines of 10 – 30 million VND (434 – 1,300 USD) per person.
According to the indictment, Cai Guo Lin worked at a private hospital providing fertility treatment in China, which is owned by Guo Yong.
In early September 2018, Cai Guolin and Cai Guofang were sent to Vietnam to find surrogate mothers.
After arriving, Cai Guolin met a Chinese doctor named Apo who introduced him to Trang, a nurse and also an interpreter at Thien Hoa Clinic in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District.
Cai Guolin asked Trang to work as an interpreter for him and search for potential surrogate mothers.
The two met Hang who introduced a woman named Ninh Thi Thom, 31, from Hanoi’s Long Bien District. They arranged for Hang to get pregnant and then Cai Guofang took her to China for the duration of the pregnancy.
In November 2018, Hang introduced Trang to six other women who were willing to be surrogate mothers, with Ngoc being one of them.
On December 11, 2018 Cai Guolin, Hang, and Trang and Ngoc took the potential surrogate mothers from Hanoi to HCM City before departing to Cambodia for embryo implantation.
When in HCM City, the group stayed at a hotel in District 3. In fear of being trafficked, one of women called her family for help, leading to the arrest of the group.