We’ve all overheard of Apple fans who queue for hours to get their hands on the newest iPhone. But one Vietnamese lady’s desire to procure an iPhone 11 led her to do the unimaginable — selling off her neighbor’s granddaughter.
Thai Thi Bich Hanh, 42, was arrested by police in An Giang province on Nov 16 for selling the two-year-old girl to a fellow that she had met online, said local media reports.
The girl lived with her grandma, who was her main caregiver, but Thai would watch the toddler irregularly.
She had been playing with the girl and video-chatting with Tran Tuan Vinh, 29, when Tran had mentioned how cute the girl was.
The lady then hatched a plot to sell the girl to Tran, telling him that the girl’s dad had abandoned her and her mom was addicted to gambling.
The girl was going to be given to a temple to live, she added.
Seeing that Tran was sensitive to the girl’s “plight”, she offered to take him the girl in exchange for a new iPhone 11, which is rated from 22 million VND (S$1,295) at authorized resellers in Vietnam.
On Oct 31, Thai said the girl’s grandmother that she was carrying her out to play. Instead, she brought the toddler to Tran, who gave her the phone and an extra one-and-a-half million VND to meet her taxi fare.
Thai then pretended ignorance of the girl’s whereabouts and even informed the child missing to the police, alleging that she had left her at home and gone out to work.
But, Thai admitted the truth when police grew doubtful after inconsistencies in her statement.
On Nov 3, the police tracked down the girl at Tran’s home and reunited her with her grandma.
Under Vietnam’s penal code, those who fraudulently replacement or appropriate children face within three and 10 years of imprisonment.