Two foreigners sentenced to 10 years in jail over smuggling 189 people into Vietnam


Two foreign men have been found guilty by a Da Nang court of violating Covid safety regulations by illegally bringing 189 South Koreans to Da Nang and have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison for organizing illegal entry into Vietnam.

According to the report, Lee Kwan Yuong, 55, and Seo Yuong Jin, 50, all are South Korean citizens, who both live in the city and have companies there, used their companies to organize four flights between December 2020 and March 2021 for South Koreans seeking to enter Vietnam, despite the country closing its borders to most foreigners.

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By law, only permitted experts and skilled workers allowed to entry Vietnam under specific conditions, including a guarantee from a locally-based company. Lee, who is also the deputy chairman of the Association of South Korean People in central Vietnam, earned over VND1 billion (US$42,400), while Seo pocketed VND85 million.

In addition, the court has sentenced 22 others, including South Korean and Vietnamese individuals, to up to nine years in jail and nine months of probation.

Home to 100 million people, including 100,000 expats, Vietnam is attracting foreign families like never before thanks to having one of the fastest-growing economies worldwide.

According to Sophie Dao, Senior Partner at GBS – Global Business Services LLC said that, as the country emerges onto the world stage, many Vietnamese industries are desperate for highly-skilled foreign workers and investors to help guide their small-and-medium sized businesses. The country even predicted to be a top 20 global economy by 2050.

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“Expats in Vietnam can expect to earn a staggering salary – averaging US$78,000– especially if they are employed in a high-growth industry or multinational company”, Sophie added.

Furthermore, the cost of living in Vietnam is very low. Even in the cities of Hanoi and Saigon, the average expenses for a small family won’t exceed US$1,500 per month, including rent and eating out at restaurants.

Expat families earning a good salary can therefore expect to live a luxurious, metropolitan lifestyle, with cash left over.

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