A total of 11 Vietnamese women that were abducted by a human trafficking gang have been rescued by police in China.

Police officials told Xinhua news agency they had apprehended 23 suspects from Henan and Yunnan provinces, VN Express reported.

Chinese authorities began investigating the ring in February 2018 when a railway police officer in Yunnan found a woman holding a ticket bought with identity documents belonging to someone else at a railway station.

The woman reportedly did not understand Chinese, and the man accompanying her tried to stop the officer from talking to her. They were then taken to a local police station for questioning, where police discovered that the woman was Vietnamese and the man had bought her from two other men in Yunnan.

As the investigation went on, the authorities uncovered a ring that abducted Vietnamese women and trafficked them to China.

Xinhua said the case was still being investigated. No information was given about the sort of punishment the gang members would face.

According to Nguyen Van Pha, the deputy head of Vietnam’s National Assembly Justice Committee, about 75% of trafficking victims in Vietnam are taken to China, where they are sold.

Traffickers often seek out poor women and children from minority groups in rural areas and lure them into sex work in China.