When "Hien" was trafficked in early June, her family in central Vietnam was devastated.
Aged 19, Hien fell into a trap set by another young woman who took her across the border of China with promises of a good job, but instead sold her to a brothel.
Hien's mother had no idea what to do; she reported the case to the police, but with no knowledge of where Hien might be, there was little they could do.
Just 2 weeks later, the trafficker rang Hien's family with an offer: for a payment of 15 million Dong (about $750 USD), Hien would be returned to her family.
Hien's mother immediately set off to the north with all the money she could find and borrow. She believed that this was her one chance to get Hien home.
Before reaching the border, Hien's mother rang a relative who happened to be a journalist who has worked with Blue Dragon on the issue of human trafficking in the past. The relative encouraged her to contact us, and once we were in contact we were able to investigate quickly.
It became clear to us that the trafficker had no intention of returning Hien; instead, she would take the money and lure the mother into another trap, to be sold as a bride to a Chinese husband.
Working with both Vietnamese and Chinese police, we caught the trafficker in the act of receiving the money and then trying to trap Hien's mother. It was a dramatic afternoon, but with a good result: Hien's mother was safe, and the trafficker was in handcuffs.
But where was Hien?
The trafficker quickly confessed to everything and told what she knew of Hien's location. The Chinese police immediately began a search, but it was 3 days before she could be found. They were 3 very tense days, particularly for Hien's family. However, the police located her and got her out of the brothel that had enslaved her.
Hien is now back in Vietnam, with the horrific ordeal behind her but a long road to recovery ahead. Blue Dragon's Psychologist has already started working with her, and the Legal team has helped her to give statements to the police.
Hien's rescue, and that of her mother, has ended well; but this story could have had a disastrous ending, had the mother fallen into the trafficker's devious trap.