They said that early this year, Chang Mi Ly, 26, was asked by an acquaintance in China to help buy a wife for a relative for RMB3,000 ($435). Police in the northern highlands province said that Ly tricked a 27-year-old woman from a neighboring district into crossing the border into China, promising work. He then sold her to his buyer in Yunnan Province. The woman was eventually rescued in September and exposed Ly’s crime upon returning to Vietnam. Vietnam recorded 670 human trafficking victims last year, down almost half from 1,128 in 2016. Most of the victims were uneducated women and children from poor areas. They were sold to men seeking wives in China, Malaysia and South Korea, or just to bear children or forced into prostitution. Many of the children were approached through social networks like Facebook and Zalo, Vietnam’s popular messaging app. Besides financial difficulties of the victims, police officers have said that negligence, easy immigration procedures and gender imbalance in destination countries are responsible for a surge in human trafficking.