Federal police are immediately looking for a small child believed to be in the care of a woman whom his parents “met at a coffee shop”.
In a joint statement, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia appealed for information to help find 17-month-old Hoang Vinh Le.
Vinh was removed from his grandmother’s care in Canberra on April 9 by his parents Hoang Thanh Le and Lyn Kim Do.
While his parents were located and arrested by police on May 20, Vinh has not been found.
The couple have told authorities they gave the child to someone they had met at a coffee shop around May 19 and had paid her $ 200 to care for the child. She has only been identified as ‘Kathy Nguyen’.
“The parents have not provided sufficient details to enable police to identify the person they say is taking care of Vinh,” AFP said.
“Authorities have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known as ‘Kathy Nguyen’ or even exists.”
Court rulings have been in place for Vinh to live with his grandmother since April 19th. A recovery order was placed on this date so he should be returned, but AFP says this order “has not been complied with”.
Authorities are concerned about his welfare
“The recovery order remains in effect 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.”
Authorities believe Vinh may be in New South Wales in areas such as Cabramatta, Bankstown, Liverpool, West Wyalong, Temora or Wagga Wagga.
Anyone with information on Vinh’s whereabouts should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, referring to AFP reference 6365180.