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Two separate parents, apparently persuaded by human traffickers to sell their daughters as brides in China, were arrested and are currently being questioned by police in Lashio, northern Shan State.
Representing the Central Body for the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons unit responsible for the arrests, Lashio police officer Chit Htoo identified a man and a woman, ethnicity unknown, who sold their daughters to a woman in the Sino-Burmese border town of Namhkam to be smuggled into China to marry Chinese men.
He said that the anti-trafficking unit had arrested Aye Nyunt, mother of Ae Kham Sa, from Mongpwe village, and Aik Law, father of Aye Sein, from Kholek village, who had sold their daughters – for the sums of 2.7 million kyat (US$2,700) and 3.5 million kyat ($3,500) respectively – via human traffickers Nang Kyi Oo and her aunt, name unknown, who live in Namhkam. The traffickers are said to have sold them onward to Chinese men for the purposes of marriage.
The official said the parents confessed to Lashio police that they had been persuaded by Nang Kyi Oo and her aunt, who had told them their daughters would be married to rich men in China and would enjoy a good life. “They [the parents] said they did not realise what they were doing was illegal under the human trafficking law,” said the police supervisor.
“The parents confessed to sending their daughters to China for the money. They are simple and poor people, and were convinced that they were doing the right thing for the girls,” said Chit Htoo, adding that the two alleged traffickers are still on the loose.
He said that the girls in question were still in China and that his office was in contact with Chinese authorities to have them returned to their home villages at the earliest possible date.
According to statistics by the Central Body for the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, 42 of 69 human trafficking cases reported between January and September 2013 involved young brides for sale in China.
Meanwhile, Chinese and Burmese government officials are holding their annual meeting on Combatting Human Trafficking in Huang Shan in Anhui Province, China.