Hong Kong gauge shows Vietnam curbing refugees

The number of refugees fleeing Vietnam dropped sharply during the past three months, indicating tougher action by Hanoi to stop their leaving, United Nations refugee agency officials said.

A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said 3,503 arrived last month, the lowest July figure since 1977. From May to July nearly 15,000 put ashore in Southeast Asia, compared with about 30,000 in the same period last year. He said the latest refugees say the Vietnamese are taking more stringent measures to stop departures.

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