Vietnam Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Vietnam’s black market. Intelligence data and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

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Based on statistics released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), there were at least 20,000 elephants killed world wide by poachers in 2013 for their ivory tusks. The number of elephants killed was slightly down from the 22,000 elephants killed in 2012 and the 25,000 poached in 2011.

At the end of 2013, there were an estimated 500,000 African elephants living in the world. 95 percent of the elephant population has been killed during the last 100 years.

The ivory is collected from elephants in Africa and sold in markets in Asia. According to Cites, there are 8 countries that are heavily involved in either buying, selling or providing illicit ivory. The countries are Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in Africa, and China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia.

The three African countries accounted for 80 percent of the major seizures in Africa in 2013.

Security forces stated that many of the gangs involved in wildlife trafficking are now using existing drug trafficking routes to smuggle the ivory.

(See more elephant poaching statistics here.)

Source:  Damian Carrington, “Fewer elephants killed in 2013, figures show,” Guardian, June 13, 2014.

Police in Vietnam broke up a human trafficking ring where women were being sold as brides to men in China. According to media reports, the men were paying $11,800 (250 Million Vietnamese Dong) for the women in 2014.

In June of 2013, Chinese men were caught paying $5,700 (120 Million Vietnamese Dong) for Vietnamese women to be their wives in China.

(More prices of human trafficking victims worldwide.)

Security experts in both countries state that the gender imbalance in China is leading to more women from neighboring countries to be trafficked. In 2013, there were 697.2 million males and 663.4 million females in China. With 33.8 million more men in the country, many men in rural areas are finding it difficult to find available women, leading to the black market in brides.

(See all human trafficking statistics here.)

Source:  Ngoc Ha, “6 arrested for trafficking Vietnam women to China,” Thanh Nien, June 6, 2014.

According to anti-trafficking officials in Cambodia, a woman sold a 16 year old girl from Vietnam to a man for $2,500. The woman was selling the girl’s virginity to the man, who was to meet the girl at a hotel in Cambodia. The price was for the trafficking victim to be with the “rich man” for a total of 5 days.

(See more prices where human trafficking victims are bought and sold.)

Source:  Buth Reaksmey Kongkea, “Police raid terminates alleged virginity sale,” Phnom Penh Post, June 2, 2014.

According to media reports, security agents in Thailand killed at least 69 loggers from Cambodia in 2013 who were attempting to illegally cut down timber in Thailand.

The rate of violence between loggers and security and environmental protection officials in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar have increased in recent years due to the demand for luxury furniture in China. The Siamese rosewood, which is found in the Mekong area, is used to make high-end furniture in China. Between 2000 and 2014, an estimated $2.4 Billion worth of precious timber has been imported to China to meet the demand. The Siamese rosewood is sold for thousands of dollars per cubic meter, with illegal loggers able to make hundreds of dollars per day cutting down the trees.

(All illegal logging statistics.)

Source:  AFP, “China demand for luxury furniture ‘decimating rosewood’,” GlobalPost, May 12, 2014.

Public security officials in Vietnam arrested a human trafficker in April 2014 who was trafficking women from Vietnam into China. According to media reports, the human trafficker was being paid $470 (10 Million Vietnamese Dong) to bring women across the Chinese border.

The human trafficking of women from Vietnam into China has been growing in recent years. Between 2009 and 2013, security agencies in China rescued over 1,800 Vietnamese women and 41 Vietnamese children that were trafficked into China. Vietnamese security agents reported stopping over 3,000 potential human trafficking victims from crossing the border into China between 2003 and 2013. In 2012 alone, Vietnam authorities rescued 1,200 victims.

Experts attribute the rise in human trafficking between the two countries to the gender inbalance in China.

(More prices of humans for sale.)

Source:  “Human traffickers hunt Vietnamese poor ethnic women for China ,” Thanh Nien Daily, May 7, 2014.

According to criminal justice reports in Vietnam, there were 278 corruption trials held within the court system of Vietnam in 2013.

In addition to the court cases, government investigators discovered at least 80 new cases of fraud invovling the misuse of state funds.

In a recent case of corruption in the country, state security agents arrested four officisl from Vietnam Railways who were alledgely invovled ina  $758,000 (16 Billion Vietnamese Dong) bribery case.

(More government corruption information here.)

Source:  “Vietnam Falling Short in Tackling Corruption, Says Party Chief,” Bloomberg Businessweek, May 6, 2014.

Security officers broke up an organ trafficking ring that was bringing people from Vietnam to China in order to conduct kidney transplant surgeries.

Police in Vietnam found that 8 people sold their kidneys for money, with 2 of them being taken to China in order to obtain the surgery. 5 of the people were siblings.

According to news reports, the amount that the people received for selling their kidney ranged from $2,585 (55 Million Vietnamese Dong) to $5,170.

(More prices of the illegal organ trade.)

Source:  “Vietnam police probe paid kidney ‘donors’ for hint of trafficking ,” Thanh Nien Daily, April 29, 2014.

Security officers in Vietnam reported that its agencies investigated over 25,000 cases of counterfeit goods entering the country in the first 4 months of 2014.

According to officials, up to 80 percent of the counterfeit goods sold in Vietnam originates from China.

On average, enforcement agents with the Ministry of Industry and Trade investigate 90,000 cases of counterfeits being sold across Vietnam. Most of the cases involves counterfeit foods and beverages, fake tobacco products, and fake clothing.

Source: Bao Van, “Vietnam could become the next big counterfeiter,” Thanh Nien Daily, April 24, 2014.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were nearly 33,000 prostitutes working in Vietnam in 2013. The number of sex workers in Vietnam was 9 percent higher than the number working in 2012.

(Number of prostitutes in the world.)

The areas with the most prostitutes in Vietnam was in larger cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hai Phong, and tens to be concentrated in tourist destinations. A large portion of the prostitutes are employed in legal establishments such as massage parlors, karaoke bars and hotels.

On average, a prostitute in Vietnam earns about $500 a month.

(More prostitution statistics.)

Source:  “Vietnam’s sex industry soaring: ministry,” Than Nien Daily, January 12, 2014.

Environmental activists estimate that up to 80 percent of the timber that is processed in Vietnam was smuggled into the country from Cambodia and Laos. It is also alleged that the Vietnamese military assists in the smuggling of illegal timber.

The amount timber estimated to be smuggled into Vietnam in 2013 was higher than the 48 percent estimate made by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2010.

Source:  Marianne Brown, “EU timber policy slows illegal logging in Vietnam,” Deutsche Welle, November 26, 2013.