Vietnamese girl Lan has shared her experience of the night she was transported far away from her country and reached China without her knowledge.

“When I woke up I didn’t know that I was in China,” Lan said as quoted by CNN. She said she was preparing for university and lived along the border in northern Vietnam when a friend whom she met online asked her out to a group dinner. She said she went to the dinner but as soon as she began feeling tired and wanted to leave for home, people in the group stopped her to have some more drinks and talk.

She did not have any inkling she would be smuggled to China. “At that time, I wanted to leave,” Lan said. “There were other girls there in the car but there were people to guard us.”

Shanghai IST reported that almost 1,800 women were brought to China illegally between 2009 and 2012. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security confirmed that police returned them safely to their respective nations. A report published in 2011 indicated the transportation of around 60 percent of women to China through trafficking between 2005 and 2009. Among them, 25 percent were rescued by authorities while the rest of the victims’ families paid the traffickers for the release of the smuggled women.

Vietnamese women are treated as commodities for Chinese men, who follow a one-child policy with a special preference for sons. This gender bias has made the nation suffer from gender imbalance, thereby leading to a reduced female count. “It costs a very huge amount of money for a normal Chinese man to get married to a Chinese woman,” Vietnam UN’s anti-trafficking organisation’s national project coordinator Ha Thi Van Khanh.

He added that before, Chinese men who preferred marrying Chinese women were expected to pay for an elaborate banquet and purchase a new home for them to stay after marriage. This expensive marriage deal prompted Chinese men to marry females from neighbouring countries like Vietnam.