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Search for missing teenager Suong Thi Bu 'hampered' by lack of known acquaintances
THE search for a missing Hampshire teenager is being hampered by her lack of friends and acquaintances in the UK.
Suong Thi Bui, 17, was brought into the country by a criminal gang involved in human trafficking and is thought to have been in England for only a short time.
Police involved in a missing person inquiry often rely on vital information supplied by people who know the man or woman they are looking for.
But Suong’s lack of ties to the UK are hindering attempts to find her.
The teenager was placed in the care of social services after she was found working but went missing last Saturday.
She was last seen at her home in Lawrence Road, Ringwood, at around 4am and must have left the property no later than 10.30am.
Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the safety of the vulnerable youngster, who speaks little English.
Detective Inspector Jim Park said: “We are pursuing several lines of inquiry, some local to the Southampton and Bournemouth area and others possibly leading up to London.
“We’re keeping an open mind as to exactly where she might be.
“Suong was orphaned, has no family and very few contacts in this country, which means there isn’t the network of friends and acquaintances normally available to us in an inquiry of this nature.
“She speaks very little English and has no means of buying food or lodgings – all of which puts her at risk.
“There’s a possibility she might be sleeping rough. Alternatively she might be seeking out the people she came into the country with, or she might be dealing with contacts we don’t know about.”
Det Insp Park said Suong’s immigration status was under review.
He added: “We know she’s been in the Southampton area since last month but what happened before that is the subject of a separate investigation.”
Anyone with information should call the Western Area CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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