20 jailed over bomb blast at HCMC police station

By Quoc Thang   September 22, 2020 | 12:22 am PT
A court in HCMC sentenced 20 people to up to 24 years in jail on Tuesday for their involvement in the bombing of a police station in 2018.

The HCMC People's Court deemed the bombing a dangerous act that violated national security.

Nguyen Khanh, residing in Dong Nai Province that borders HCMC, that mastermind in the bombing, will serve a 24-year prison sentence for terrorism and illegal manufacturing, possession and purchase of explosives.

The court also imposed a VND10 million ($429) fine per each of 20 defendants, who will have to enter local confinement for three to five years after their release.

Nguyen Khanh after a trial against his directing a police station bombing in HCMC, September 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

Nguyen Khanh after a trial against his directing a police station bombing in HCMC, September 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

According to the panel, Khanh was upset over a local land dispute and enticed by 68-year-old Ngo Van Hoang Hung in Canada to join Trieu Dai Viet (Vietnam Dynasty), which opposes the Vietnamese government. Khanh was promised the position of the organization's chief of Dong Nai Province upon the successful purchase of explosives and recruitment of additional organization members.

Hung sent Khanh VND144 million ($6,200) and 600 CAD ($450) for operating expenses.

Khanh ordered Nguyen Trung Truc to buy five kg of explosives and 45 detonators, mixed with another 7 kg of explosives at home, given to Duong Ba Giang to build remotely-operated bombs.

On June 19, 2018, Khanh told Giang to hand two bombs to Vo Hoang Nam and Duong Khac Minh (Hung’s acquaintance) and teach them how to detonate each device, ahead of a planned state agency strike meant to popularize the organization.

The next day, Nam and Minh bombed the police station of Ward 12, Tan Binh District, in HCMC, injuring two people and causing extensive property damage.

Vo Hoang Nam, who directly denonated the bombs in the police station

Vo Hoang Nam, who directly detonated bombs at a HCMC police station in 2018, makes his way to court on September 22, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

In addition, Khanh also supplied three bombs to Nguyen Minh Tan, appointed Mekong Delta commander. Tan then gave them to Pham Tran Phong Vu to blow up a police station in the delta's Hau Giang Province. But before attacking another police station, they were arrested.

Hung sent Tan an additional VND160 million while creating a fake list of over 200 members to source more funds for the organization. Tan still had VND150 million left when caught.

Duong Ba Giang and Nguyen Minh Tan were sentenced to 18 years in prison. Vu Hoang Nam, Duong Khac Minh and Pham Tran Phong Vu got 17 years. 14 others related to the case were sentenced to 2-12 years in prison.

They were charged with either terrorism or illegal manufacturing, possession and purchase of explosives.

Security agencies have prosecuted Hung, currently residing in Canada, on terrorism charges and issued an international warrant for his arrest.

Hung was sentenced to death by a court in Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta, later reduced to life on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government back in 1979.

The Tay Son Movement was launched in the U.S. during 2016 to unite organizations opposing the state of Vietnam. By early 2017, internal conflict had divided the group, with Hung elected supreme commander of a separate cell in Canada named Trieu Dai Viet.

Hung's organization instructed Vietnamese in the country and abroad to employ violence against the Vietnamese state, which it seeks to depose.

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