Those rescued were reportedly being held at illegal casinos in northern border areas.
Vietnam.- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 166 Vietnamese citizens have been rescued from illegal casinos in Myanmar. The ministry’s spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang said those rescued “have been taken to a safe place in the northern area of this country bordering China.”
Hang said the Vietnamese embassy in Myanmar is collaborating with authorities in Vietnam and China to formulate plans for the repatriation of those rescued. The ministry advised Vietnamese citizens against travelling to Shan and Kayin states in Myanmar. Those already in these regions are urged to leave to another country or arrange for their return to Vietnam.
In October, 61 Vietnamese citizens were also rescued from illegal casinos. Gambling is illegal in Myanmar, but there are a number of casinos in the country, mostly in border areas. They are often run by Chinese or Thai investors with collaboration from the Border Guard Force, an armed group associated with the region’s Karen ethnic minority. The casinos have faced accusations of involvement in human trafficking, drug trafficking and internet scams.