Tran Ngoc Thanh and his self-established organisation labeled themselves as protectors of Vietnamese labourers abroad to lure, entice and illegally bring hundreds of workers from Vietnam and Malaysia to Eastern Europe.
In Malaysia, the victims of Thanh were mostly workers who were working for Malaysian businesses under Vietnamese companies’ labour export contracts.
To lure Vietnamese labourers to East Europe, Thanh and the “Committee for Protection of Employees,” set up in 2006, took the name of “protectors of workers’ interests” to access those who were facing difficulties or were dissatisfied with their employers, in order to encourage them to follow his ring.
To achieve his ends, Thanh incited workers to demonstrate and damage factories, with the aim of making the employers terminate their contracts.

[Self-proclaimed protector exposed as human trafficker]
At the same time, he drew out prospects of contracts with high incomes and full insurance and health care in some Eastern European countries, to persuade the workers to give money to him to “process” their applications.
With cunning tricks under the label of “protecting employees”, Thanh and his accomplices deceived hundreds of workers, earning large profits from such labour contracts and putting many people into debt and miserable circumstances.
Tran The Vinh, a worker in northern Bac Giang province, who was enticed by Thanh and his organisation to illegally enter Poland said: “Thanh showed us how to demonstrate and fight each other to get dismissals. He promised that he would bring us to Europe with higher salaries and better living conditions if we gave him 7,000 USD each”.
Thanh and his committee suggested the victims pay deposits and brokerage fees or advance money for visa procedures. If anyone had no money, he or she could record and write petitions denigrating Vietnam’s labour export policy, to be sent to human rights organisations.
“One day when I was sick, Thanh and two others visited me. Several days later, they returned and said they would help us to work in East Europe,” said Hoang Thi Lai, another victim of Thanh’s committee.
“They also said if we do not have money, they will interview us and record our saying that the Vietnamese Government does not care about labourers, letting the companies exploit and refuse to pay wages for them,” she said.
She also added that Ho Thi Khanh, Thanh’s wife, one time revealed that Thanh sent several hundreds of people to Europe at a cost of between 6,500 USD and 10,000 USD each.
After taking money and inciting labourers to conduct law-breaking acts, Thanh brought workers from Malaysia to Eastern Europe through illegal pathways and left them here with very little “protection”, unlike his promise.
Thanh’s illicit act put tens of Vietnamese labourers in Eastern European countries into homeless circumstances. The jobless labourers had to live illegally, join in robbery gangs, violate laws, be expelled, even be imprisoned.
Nguyen Thang, an overseas Vietnamese in Poland, angrily said that Tran Ngoc Thanh set up an organisation called the “Protector of Vietnamese Labourers Abroad” but in fact, that organisation never appeared when the workers needed help.
Thanh brought many people to Eastern Europe but left them here without personal papers, insurance or other social welfare, he said.
However, due to lack of necessary personal papers such as labour export contracts and receipts, the victims did not have enough evidence to denounce and sue Thanh.
It can be realised that the so-called “Committee for Protection of Vietnamese Employees” is really an organisation in disguise to sabotage the Vietnamese Government and carry out illegal labour export activities to “make money” from the lack of knowledge of poor workers. It does not function to protect labourers as proclaimed by Thanh and his accomplices.
Therefore, labourers should be greatly vigilant over the behaviours and tricks of Thanh and his accomplices./.