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 TOPIC: vietnamese girls for sale

date: 11-18-04
time: 22:56:18
total posts: 1961

this is old news but i just saw it recently somewhere online, i wonder how much the shipping cost was

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - EBay Inc. halted an auction this week and suspended a Taiwanese user who allegedly tried to sell three Vietnamese girls for a starting bid of $5,400.

The auction, which began March 2 on eBay's Taiwan site, did not include a detailed description of the goods for sale but said the "items'' were from Vietnam and would be "shipped to Taiwan only.''

The site included five photos of three people. One dark-haired woman in a white shirt wore makeup and blue nail polish, and the other two appeared to be girls no older than their early teens. The 10-day auction had a starting price of 180,000 Taiwanese dollars, or $5,411.88.

Vietnamese activists groups in Australia and the United States noticed the listing as early as March 5 and began sending e-mails to women's rights and immigrant advocates around the world. Many of them contacted eBay, and earlier this week customer service representatives pulled the auction, now listed as "invalid item.''

"There couldn't be a clearer case of what's not allowed on eBay,'' spokesman Hani Durzy said today. "We are constantly scanning the site for items along the line of this one worldwide, and as soon as we see them we take them down.''

San Jose-based eBay strictly forbids the sale or purchase of humans, alive or dead.

The company, which acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers for products ranging from garage-sale items to supercomputers, doesn't screen auction items before they go live on the site. However, it routinely halts auctions involving human corpses or anything else it deems inappropriate or illegal, and it often suspends the person or group behind such sales.

EBay turned over information on the seller to Taiwanese authorities, Durzy said. He would not release any more information on the user, identified on the site as "mmm0052g'' and an eBay member since March 1.

Durzy said auctions of humans were "incredibly rare,'' and those that the company has investigated are usually hoaxes.

"We have no idea if this one was a joke, but frankly it's irrelevant to us,'' Durzy said. "We took it down as soon as we became aware of it.''

American activist groups including the Fairfax, Va.-based National Congress of Vietnamese Americans, one of the groups that alerted eBay with e-mails and a letter to CEO Meg Whitman, applauded the auction giant's swift moves. Members say they'll continue to monitor eBay's listings for human trafficking.

But NCVA president Hung Nguyen said the illegal trade -- often involving girls or young women who work as sex slaves -- will likely continue regardless of whether Internet sites clamp down.

"The only real alternative is to give countries opportunities for people to educate and better themselves,'' Nguyen said. "If we could improve the economic conditions in places like Vietnam and Cambodia, there would be less likelihood that people would sell themselves or their children into slavery or brothels.''

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