In the first hours of Thursday, police and customs officers in Ben Cau District of Tay Ninh Province, which borders Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia, arrested three Vietnamese males helping eight Chinese counterparts illegally enter Cambodia in two cars.
The three Vietnamese are Nguyen Minh Tuan Anh, 24, a resident in HCMC, Nguyen Thanh Tuan, 38 and Do Quoc Tien, 27, who reside in Tay Ninh.
The three said they were helping the Chinese travel from HCMC’s District 2 to Cambodia.
On Wednesday, border police in Lao Cai, neighboring China, launched an investigation after forces at Lao Cai International Border Gate arrested four Chinese men entering Vietnam illegally on July 16.
During questioning, the four men, aged between 25 and 28, said they had been helped by two Vietnamese men to enter Lao Cai the previous day. Their plan was to travel south to Ho Chi Minh City to work at a garment factory.
Accordingly, police arrested Phung The Anh, 26 and Vang Seo Xoa, 31. Both residents in Lao Cai.
Xoa told police he lives next to the border and usually travels to China to buy fertilizer and trade agricultural products, helping him build connections with several Chinese.
Most recently, a Chinese man contacted him to help Chinese nationals illegally enter Vietnam at the price of 500 yuan ($71) each. For payment, the man attached cash onto rocks and threw them across a stream for Xoa to collect.
Anh used to work as a hotel driver in Lao Cai and met many Chinese, some of whom later asked him to help transport compatriots to HCMC.
Anh and Xoa collaborated in transporting the four Chinese men on July 16, Xoa bringing them to Lao Cai while Anh in charge of bringing them to HCMC by a rented car.
Police busted the operation just as Xoa and the Chinese men reached Lao Cai at around 1 a.m.
Vietnam is dealing with a new wave of mysterious Covid-19 infections caused by community transmission, alongside a surge in cases whereby Chinese have illegally broke into the country, violating national protocols on pandemic prevention.
To curb the spread of Covid-19, Vietnam has banned entry by foreign nationals since March 22 with exceptions and conditions, including 14-day quarantine on arrival.
HCMC announced Wednesday it had found 11 illegal Chinese immigrants at an apartment building in Binh Thanh District. Authorities have since sent them all to a quarantine camp.
On Monday, police in northern Lang Son Province, which also borders China, handed over 16 Chinese nationals to Chinese police after finding them illegally entering Vietnam two days earlier.
Lang Son police have detained two local women for helping nine Chinese nationals enter Vietnam illegally.
Last Saturday, a Chinese man was arrested for his involvement in a ring smuggling Chinese nationals into Da Nang and neighboring Quang Nam Province. Authorities have found 73 Chinese nationals illegally entering both places over the past few days.