Border guards in central Vietnam are investigating 13 people who paid a smuggling ring to help them enter Laos, and later Thailand, to find jobs.
On the night of August 23, guards at Lao Bao international border gate in Quang Tri Province detected a group of 13 Vietnamese trying to cross the border into Laos.
The residents of central Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh provinces said they had paid VND17 million ($735) each to be smuggled into Laos, Quang Tri Border Guard announced Wednesday.
In the afternoon of August 23, they were taken by bus from their hometown to Lao Bao where they registered at a motel.
Promised jobs in Thailand, the group was supported by an unnamed individual, said to have since fled.
From April 1, Laos had shut its entire border shared with Vietnam to curb the Covid-19 spread.
Quang Tri Border Guard has set up 84 stations since February and deployed over 400 personnel to prevent illegal entry along the 179 km shared boundary with Laos.