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Taiwan company accused of trafficking Vietnamese women to breed
The Anti-Human Trafficking Act forbids “procuring, buying, selling, vending, bringing from or sending to, detaining or confining, harboring or receiving a child” for money. Violations carry up to 10 years in prison, plus a fine.
“The Vietnamese surrogates … were reportedly held against their will. If these allegations prove true, their captors would be potentially guilty of criminal acts as follows: false imprisonment, kidnapping and human trafficking,” Jiraporn Thongphong, a lawyer at the law firm Chaninat and Leeds, said in an e-mail.
If the women worked in Thailand intentionally without employment permits, they could be charged with illegal immigration and be repatriated to their home country.
“They are between 12 weeks and eight months pregnant, and we found two of the women were carrying twins,” said Paskorn Chaivanichsiri, director of a government-run hospital where authorities took the women.
As of Thursday, seven of the women were pregnant, two recently had given birth and six were not pregnant, Mr. Surapong said.
It was not clear whether the six women were being prepared for impregnation, had given birth or were support staff.
“We don’t know if the [impregnation] process is done here or in Taiwan,” Immigration Deputy Police Chief Pansak Kasemsant told reporters.
Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanavisit told reporters that the “babies to be born to the Vietnamese surrogate mothers will be under the care of the Vietnamese government.”
There was no public indication that Thai authorities would pursue the company’s customers or what charges, if any, could be brought against them.
Thai officials said the company opened more than one year ago and that it was not known how many births had been arranged.
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