Sussex, England. Photo: iStock.
Sussex, England. Photo: iStock.

Four Vietnamese boys aged 15 to 17 went missing from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, after they arrived in England as asylum seekers.

At around 9:30am on August 16, the boys went missing from St Saviour’s Road, according to a statement on the official Sussex Police website. They were last seen taking a taxi to Seven Kings Way, London, from West St Leonards railway station.

Prior to this, they had been placed in a foster home as they were seeking asylum. They are Tuan Quoc Tran, 17; Kien Van Le, 15; Mahh Van Vo, 17; and Toai Sy Tran, 16. The police called for the public to provide them with more information.

Between 2015 and 2017, more than 150 Vietnamese minors disappeared from care and foster homes in the UK while almost 90 others went missing temporarily, The Times reported. Many of these children went missing two days after they entered a care center.

Vietnam is a consistent top-three country of origin for modern slaves in the UK, about half of them minors. The children are often forced to work in nail salons and even narcotics cultivation, mainly the growing of cannabis.

Rescued children often run back to the traffickers as they have to repay debt and ensure that their families in Vietnam will not be harassed by gangs, according to a 2013 report by the British Broadcasting Corporation.