Vietnamese authorities have lodged an official protest with Malaysia following press reports that a 21-year-old Vietnamese woman was auctioned off in a marketplace, state media reported on Wednesday.
The Vietnamese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur sent a note to Malaysia's internal affairs ministry "protesting against any act of trading Vietnamese women, and seeking their help to identify the woman," the Tien Phong newspaper said.
Malaysia's Chinese-language daily Guang Ming reported that the woman offered herself for sale last week during a morning market in a village in Gombak, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
She came to the village with a 40-year-old peddler who made the offer on her behalf, it said, adding that she apparently volunteered to be sold because she had been in Malaysia for some time and had run out of money. It did not say what she had been doing or how much she was sold for.
The auction started at 7am and was concluded four hours later when a 60-year old man bought her, the report said. It was unclear whether the man intended to make her his wife, surrogate daughter or maid.
Some of the villagers asked the peddler for his mobile phone number in case he had any more women to offer in the future.