Seven more detained in Saigon police station blast case

By Vuong Vu   September 1, 2018 | 09:04 pm PT
Seven more detained in Saigon police station blast case
Dust and debris scatter at a police station in HCMC after two bomb blasts last June. Photo acquired by VnExpress
Police have arrested seven more people for suspected involvement in explosions at a police station in Saigon last June.

Officers from the Ministry of Public Security said they have detained seven members of a resistance organization in Canada led by Vietnamese Canadian Ngo Van Hoang Hung.

The organization aims to overthrow the Vietnamese government through violence and acts of terrorism with a “kill all, burn all, and destroy all” motto, according to the ministry.

Investigations have identified 66-year-old Hung as the ringleader of the terrorist organization which triggered a bomb blast at a police station in Tan Binh District on June 20. The blast injured one female officer and damaged several motorbikes in the building.

Police say more attacks were planned in other public places.

In July, Ho Chi Minh City police had arrested and initiated criminal proceedings against eight people involved in the bombing.

Among the eight are Vu Hoang Nam, 22, Duong Ba Giang, 47, Nguyen Tuan Thanh, 28 and Thanh’s father Nguyen Khanh, 54, who would face charges with terrorism, a crime punishable by death in Vietnam. The remaining four were held responsible for providing the explosives, which they said they bought from Laos.

Police said Hung’s organization was found to have posted 200 videos on social media with content distorting Vietnam’s history, calling for protests and violent acts to overthrow the people's administration.

The organization had transferred money to Vietnam and asked its accomplices to buy weapons and explosives from Cambodia for use in bombing attacks and instigating anti-government agitations.

Police say that subversive organization had sent hundreds of millions of dong for the police station's bomb blasts.

The organization is also accused of stockpiling weapons, planning terrorist attacks at other police stations and officials' houses. All these plots were foiled by Vietnamese security forces.

However, Hung still continued to send money to Vietnam and instructed his accomplices to buy weapons and explosives, and wait for other opportunities, police added.

The HCMC blasts took place several days after there were widespread protests in the country against provisions of laws on cyber security and special economic zones.

The cyber security law, giving more government control on internet giants such as Google and Facebook, was passed on June 12, while the other has been postponed, with the controversial term on 99-year land lease term to foreign investors reportedly scrapped out.

In the aftermath of the protests, the police have detained dozens of people and slapped administrative sanctions on hundreds of citizens.

Terrorist attacks are almost unknown in postwar Vietnam.

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