Drug addicts overpower guards to escape rehab center in Vietnam, yet again

By Xuan Thang - Phuoc Tuan   November 9, 2016 | 11:13 am GMT+7

200 inmates staged the second breakout to occur in the country in just four days.

Around 200 inmates broke down the walls and escaped from a drug rehabilitation center in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Wednesday morning, just two days after police struggled to defuse tensions at another center in the neighboring province of Dong Nai.

The inmates knocked out guards and escaped from the Tan Thanh center at around 7 a.m. Police have so far captured 20 of them and are tracking down the rest.

The Ba Ria-Vung Tau Education and Vocational Training Center in Tan Thanh District, 66 kilometers to the southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, is home to more than 600 inmates, including more than 30 women.

Wednesday's breakout is the third at the center this year.

In April, around 450 inmates smashed through doors and dug holes in the walls to escape. 78 others escaped a month later.

Nguyen Van Phuong, deputy director of the province’s social affairs department, said most of the inmates escaped because they were not accustomed to the disciplined life the center enforces.

On Sunday, 166 inmates at a drug rehab center in Dong Nai Province also broke out, the fifth incident at the center in recent years. Inmates continued to riot on Monday and order was only restored after police officers arrested 23 inmates believed to be the ringleaders.

Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung visited the Dong Nai center on Tuesday and admitted that the inmates were unhappy as the center was heavily overcrowded. It holds 1,500 inmates despite its capacity of only 800.

Vietnam has 132 rehab centers, and there are 220,000 drug users on official records.

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