Police investigation claims that missing child was ‘given to a woman in a coffee shop’

Hoang Vinh Le was last seen in O’Connor in April 2021. Photo: AFP.

National authorities have renewed calls for help finding a 17-month-old Canberra baby whose parents allegedly met a woman at a coffee shop and gave her $ 200 to care for the baby.

Hoang Vinh Le was only 10 months old when police first appealed for help.

Born on June 21, 2020, Vinh was removed from his grandmother’s custody on April 9, 2021 in Canberra by his parents Hoang Thanh Le, 28, and Lyn Kim Do, 21.

Hoang Vinh Le.

Hoang Vinh Le. Photo: Family law in Australia

The parents told authorities that around May 19, 2021, they gave the child to a person they identified as ‘Kathy Nguyen’ – a person they allegedly met at a coffee shop and had paid $ 200 to care for the child.

But in a joint statement, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Federal District and Family Court said authorities had not confirmed whether this person existed at all.

The child was last seen at a medical practice in O’Connor on April 9. Vinh was reportedly put in a Silver ISUZU MU-X 4WD with the NSW registration CF7 2YI.

Hoang Vinh Le with his mother and father.

Hoang Vinh Le with his mother and father. Photo: Federal Court.

The parents were arrested on May 20, 2021.

However, the child was not located and has not been seen since, despite police efforts.

Authorities say the parents have not provided sufficient details for police to identify the person they say is taking care of Vinh.

They have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known as ‘Kathy Nguyen’ or even exists.

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The court issued a recovery order on April 19, 2021, ordering Vinh to be returned to his grandmother’s custody, but this order has not been complied with.

The recovery order remains in force as Vinh’s location and the identity of the person who is with him are currently unknown and the authorities are concerned about his welfare.

Vinh may have been in the following areas of NSW:

  • Cabramatta / Bankstown
  • Liverpool
  • West Wyalong
  • Temora, or
  • Wagga Wagga.

Anyone who knowingly withholds information about the child’s well-being or whereabouts can contribute to an offense.

Anyone who has seen or may have information about Vinh’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, referring to AFP reference 6365180.

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