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More than 230 Vietnamese boat people traded life in Hong Kong's grim detention centers for a return to their homeland Tuesday in the largest single group of voluntary returnees in recent months, officials said.

The 132 men, 46 women and 55 children boarded a chartered Hanoi-bound jet, bringing to nearly 7,300 the number of boat people who have participated in the U.N.-sponsored program since its inception two years ago.