• Rise in Vietnamese kidnappings of others from Vietnam in Japan over gambling debts.
  • From January through September, at least 42 Vietnamese were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for profit or for ransom.
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An increasing number of Vietnamese have faced kidnapping, held captive by other Vietnamese who want to force them to repay debts or seek ransom from relatives in Vietnam.

These cases have risen rapidly since last year when the novel coronavirus infection spread, the Japan News citied a report by Yomiuri Shimbun..

According to the local media, many Vietnamese who had financial difficulties after coming to Japan as technical intern trainees are believed to have been involved in these cases.

Investigators say many of the victims were often in financial difficulties after losing their job in Japan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with many then indulging in gambling held among Vietnamese people. Their debt increased as they borrowed money from other Vietnamese nationals, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

This year on the evening of May 9, Aichi prefectural police investigators found six Vietnamese men with their ankles chained to each other in an apartment in Ichinomiya. All said they had debts and some of them had been ordered to get their relatives to pay off the debts. One of the six victims had borrowed about ¥900,000 from an alleged ringleader.

The prefectural police arrested eight Vietnamese men in the case. On Oct. 12, the Nagoya District Court found three of them guilty of confinement and other charges. Similar cases have been reported around the nation.

From January through September, at least 42 Vietnamese were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping for profit or for ransom.

According to the National Police Agency, for a 10-year period through 2019, there were no Vietnamese arrested on those charges, but in 2020, there were 10 Vietnamese arrested on these charges.

“There are many cases where foreigners get involved in gambling as they feel that they cannot return home without a large sum of money and end up accumulating debt,” said Yoshihisa Saito, an associate professor at Kobe University who is versed in labor law and labor relations especially in Vietnam.

A 28-year-old man from Vietnam who arrived as a technical intern trainee had ¥600,000 in debt because of gambling. He spent several hours in captivity in an apartment in Aichi Prefecture in summer 2020 apparently because the captors suspected he would run way without paying the debt.

The man, who was taken into custody by police and returned to Vietnam, said he should have early on consulted about the matter with entities such as support organizations.

In January this year, six Vietnamese were arrested by the Shizuoka prefectural police for allegedly kidnapping a Vietnamese technical intern trainee and demanding ¥2.5 million in ransom.

In June, 12 Vietnamese were arrested in Hiroshima for allegedly confining and extorting about ¥310,000 from a Vietnamese man.

“It is necessary to respond to Vietnamese who have lost their job or place to live in Japan because of the pandemic,” Saito said.

By Yomiuri Shimbun/ Japan News/ Editing by Vietnam Insider

Source: Vietnam Insider


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