Paedophiles warned to stay away from Vietnam
HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - A leading youth charity in Vietnam has warned would-be child predators to stay away, as they will be caught.
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation helps vulnerable youngsters across the country, many of whom are victims of child trafficking or sexual abuse.
Founder and CEO Michael Brosowski on Wednesday sent a strong warning to paedophiles who think Vietnam is a soft touch.
“People around the world need to understand that if they try to abuse children in Vietnam, they will be caught,” he said.
Brosowski was speaking after a convicted paedophile from the UK was exposed as living and working in Hanoi.
Christopher Trinnaman was jailed in England after he was caught ‘grooming’ teenage girls on social media websites.
The 41-year-old from London had been living in the capital city and was employed as a trombonist by a Hanoi orchestra.
His Facebook page is littered with images of the shaven-headed sex offender surrounded by unsuspecting children.
Brosowski from Blue Dragon said: “Vietnam is typically very good with preventing criminals from entering the country.
“However, there are some loopholes for people who are really determined to come here and in fact all countries around the world face exactly the same problem.
“To improve its ability to stop this from happening, the main answer lies in technology, which of course is very expensive and also is not perfect.”
Viet Nam News understands Trinnaman has since left the country after police visited his apartment in Tay Ho within the past few weeks.
A neighbour close to where the trombonist lived said he only moved into the lakeside property around one month ago.
She added that police visited him within the last three weeks and one week later, he left, and had not been seen since.
Trinnaman’s previous convictions were exposed via a Facebook page called Hanoi Beautiful, a dedicated social network site for women living in the capital.
One member posted a warning about a Trinnaman who had allegedly been harassing her via a dating app.
Other women came forward claiming they too had bad experiences with Trinnaman and newspaper cuttings from England detailing his previous convictions were also shared.
Brosowski from Blue Dragon said while he understood Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia were often visited by convicted sex offenders, authorities here are committed to protecting children.
“Blue Dragon’s work has found that people who are very determined to abuse children target Southeast Asian countries because they believe their chances of getting caught is small,” he said.
“In fact, Việt Nam has been excellent in detecting and dealing with these cases. Just last year, two foreigners were arrested and imprisoned for child abuse.
“People around the world need to understand that if they try to abuse children in Vietnam, they will be caught. Police and government agencies are highly committed to protecting children in Vietnam. There are also some excellent non-government organisations around the country committed to keeping children safe.”
He added that the most vulnerable children are those who are separated from their families and need to be protected.
“The children who are most vulnerable in Vietnam tend to be homeless or at least separated from their families, and away from the traditional family unit which keeps them safe,” he added.
“This tells us that all sectors of society need to come together to protect children who may be living on the street or in other vulnerable situations.”
A spokesman for the British Embassy in Hanoi said information is exchanged between the UK and Vietnamese authorities regularly.
Although he refused to comment on the individual case, the spokesman said: “Sadly, child abuse is a significant issue across the world including in the UK and Vietnam.
“And, rightly, there has been an increase in awareness and concern about the problem in our two countries, and across borders. We do not comment on individual cases related to law enforcement, but protecting children and safeguarding them from abuse is a key priority for the UK in Vietnam.
“British law enforcement agencies co-operate and exchange information with the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security to prevent child abuse, whether online or in person. We also support training programmes for teachers on child safeguarding to international standards.”
Viet Nam News contacted Trinnaman through his Facebook page for comment, but so far, he has not responded.
Trinnaman was employed by the Sun Orchestra in Hanoi who say he resigned last month and they were unaware of his previous convictions.