According to the information of many victims who are forced to beg, to sell chewing gums and lottery tickets in HCM City, Hanoi, Vinh … we paid a field trip to the coastal communes of Quang Xuong district, Thanh Hoa province. Living in anxiety and pain is the common mood of the families whose relatives are in the hands of “pimps.”
Some die, some disappear without a trace
According to an official of Quang Thai commune, from the 1980s, due to difficult life, many people in this commune flocked to cities to beg. The begging movement then spread to the neighboring communes of Quang Loi, Quang Loc, Quang Luu …
“At first, they became beggars because of hunger and poverty but since 2000, begging, selling lottery tickets in cities have been organized into networks by pimps,” the official said.
Detecting any family with the elderly, disabled, or children, these pimps approach to invite them to “work” in cities.
Mr. T, a resident in Quang Binh commune, said: “I have muscular dystrophy and suffered hemiplegia from my childhood. In 2001, a man from Quang Thai commune came to see me and asked me to go to HCM City to work with him. Every day, I was taken everywhere by motorbike to work as a beggar. If I did not do, they would beat and starve me. They took all of money from us.”
In Quang Khe, a poor commune in Quang Xuong district, there are many children and elderly people who are lured and forced to beg or sell goods for pimps.
Mr. Hoang Van Hung, an official of Quang Khe commune, said: “Many poor people are ready to follow anyone who promises to take them to Saigon, Hanoi to work, especially on children and the elderly. We do not doubt that they are forced to beg and sell tickets in the city. Not long ago, I had to go to HCM City to take six child beggars home.”
Mr. Le Dinh Day in Village 7, Quang Khe commune is a typical victim of beggar pimps. He is a mental patient so he was twice taken to HCM City to work as a beggar by pimps.
Mr. Le Dinh Hung, Day’s son, said: “Three years ago, a man named Hien from Quang Thai commune took my father to Saigon to beg. It took my family a lot of time to search for my dad there. A year ago, taking advantage of no one at home, another pimp took my dad to the city to beg. My family only knows that he was taken to the south.”
Many people in Quang Xuong said in 2012, a pimp named Trinh Dinh Sau in Quang Loc commune seduced to take an old man to HCM City to beg. While “working” for the pimp, the old man died while begging.
“It is very difficult to handle”
According to our investigation, in the communes of Quang Loi, Quang Thai, Quang Loc … there are a lot of pimps who exploit the elderly, disabled and children. These guys have controlled begging rings for decades and all of them are very rich.
The most prominent among them are Trinh Dinh Sau and his wife – Nguyen Thi Truc, Nguyen Dinh Tru, Nguyen Van Tong (Quang Loc commune), Ha Van Bay, Trinh Viet Thuan, Tran Van Long, Pham Van Minh, Pham Van Thanh (Quang Loi commune), Hien, Thu (Quang Thai commune) …
However, it is surprising that many local leaders proved indifferent to this problem. Quang Thai commune has a large number of beggars and many pimps. However, when we asked about these pimps, Mr. Tran Cong Tinh, Chairman of Quang Thai commune, said that he “has just known” about it. “This phenomenon is real, but we have not detected any specific cases,” he said.
Mr. Bui Ngoc Vinh, Quang Loc commune police chief, explained: “The pimps mainly go to other communes, especially in the mountain areas to seek the elderly, the disable and kids to send to cities to work as beggars or chewing gum and lottery ticket sellers. They take these victims to HCM City and Hanoi, so it is very difficult for us to handle.”
According to Mr. Vinh, from Quang Loc commune, previously a man named Nguyen Van Tong lured a disabled in Quang Tan commune to go to the south to work as a beggar.
“The family of this disabled has asked for the local police’s intervention to bring their relative back. However, Tong is a drug addict and he did not reside in the commune so we cannot solve this case,” Vinh explained.
Mr. Trinh Viet Ha, vice chief police officer of Quang Loi commune, said: “Every village has people who go to the city to beg or sell lottery tickets. They left their home without informing the local government so we do not know clearly about their activities. There are also several people in the commune who collect kids and elderly people to take to the city as beggars and hawkers. Recently, the police have arrested and punished some pimps such as Long and Thuan in Tien Trang village.”
The common thing of pimps is enticing people to “go to work” in the city. They committed to pay these people VND1.5-2 million per month, including accommodations and foods. However, after taking them to the city, they forced them to work as beggars or hawkers.