Wife-Selling Rampant in Vietnam

Most Buyers Are Taiwanese Who Pay $2,500 to $8,000

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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, MAR. 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).- There are increasing concerns in Vietnam about the practice of wife-selling, BBC reports.

Agents who sell young women for $2,500 to $8,000 to would-be husbands are operating quite openly in the country´s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.

A majority of purchasers are Taiwanese men who take their wives back home, BBC said. Agents introduce the men to a range of women. Once the man has made his selection, the agent can provide paperwork to show that the couple are married.

The women who put themselves up for sale in this way generally come from poor rural households and are hoping to get some money. In reality, however, they normally receive a small percentage of the cash paid to the agent.

According to the Vietnamese press, there are at least 4,000 wives in Taiwan who have been purchased in this way. Many of the wives are unhappy and, in some cases, even sold into prostitution, BBC said.

Vietnamese police say there is little they can do to stop the practice. They say that if the women do manage to get some money out of their new husbands, they often send it back to their families in Vietnam, who are reluctant to tell the police what has happened.

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