Update: 08:57 | 06/03/2020
The Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang has said the ministry asked the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin, Germany, to work with the host authorities to ensure legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens and stay ready to conducts citizen protection measures if necessary.
She made the statement during the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on March 5 in reply to reporters’ question about Vietnam’s stance on the recent bust of a Vietnamese migrant smuggling ring in Germany.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany reported on March 3 that the police raided 32 sites in Berlin and the states of Hessen, Sachsen, Niedersachsen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The investigation was launched by Berlin prosecution agency, German and European police after the German police found a lorry carrying illegal Vietnamese immigrants on the border with the Czech Republic in December 2018. The German police have arrested six suspects and detained about 30 others to verify their identity and residence status, and collected some evidence.
Upon hearing the news, the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin contacted German police to acquire information about Vietnamese arrestees, and soon arrange a consular visit to them. The German side has received the request and will offer suitable response, she said.
Regarding five Vietnamese citizens missing in the fire of a fishing vessel in the Republic of Korea, Hang said the incident occurred at 3:18am on March 4 (local time), about 70km southeast of Udo island, Seogwipo city, Jeju, leaving six crewmembers missing, five of them are Vietnamese citizens.
The Vietnamese Embassy later contacted coast guards in Seogwipo region to get further information.
The Korean coast guards are conducting search and rescue and investigating the cause of the incident.
RoK Prime Minister Chong Se-kyun directed agencies concerned to pool every resource for the effort.
The same day, the Foreign Ministry directed the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK to continue keeping a close watch on the case, and work closely with the host authorities to step up search and take necessary citizen protection measures.
She said the Foreign Ministry asked foreign affairs offices to learn about aspirations of the victims’ families, adding that more information will be publicised in the near future.