Ho Chi Minh City Police Department has just completed an investigation and asked the city’s Procuracy to prosecute a former criminal police officer and 14 other people for organizing gambling. The incident once again raised public concerns about police backing crime.
The Thanh Nien, Nguoi Lao Dong, and VNExpress newspapers on December 16 said that the former police officer proposed to be prosecuted by the Ho Chi Minh City police was former lieutenant Doan Hong Phuc, 38 years old, who used to hold the position of deputy chief of the ward police 6, District 6, before being arrested.
Among the remaining 14 people indicted, notably Ngo Nhut Thanh, 48; and To My Nhi, 33 years old, still follow the news of Thanh Nien, Nguoi Lao Dong, and VNExpress.
According to the news, the gamble ring of the above people operating in a house in Tan Phu district was discovered by the police on May 5.
The investigation of the police showed that the house was rented by Doan Hong Phuc in September 2019 and then assigned to Ngo Nhut Thanh and To My Nhi to open a gray square to collect money.
From October 2019 until it was discovered, the total amount of the gamblers put here was about VND133 billion ($5.7 million), Thanh Nien, Nguoi Lao Dong and VNExpress quoted the content of the investigation results. Of the total proceeds, Nhí receives 40%, Thanh 30%, and police officer Phuc got 10%.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City police, the casino was in operation when Phuc was still holding the position of deputy criminal unit in Tan Phu district, responsible for fighting crime prevention in the district. However, he took advantage of his position and powers to collaborate with professional gamblers.
The investigation by the city police determined that the defendant Phuc “had the act of preserving and contributing money to the gambling organization to gain illicit profits,” domestic newspapers reported.
Currently in Ho Chi Minh City, former police colonel Nguyen Nhu Phong, who is also a famous writer-journalist with many police works, shared his thoughts on the incident:
“This is quite a serious incident and also alarming for the fact. That is, there are police officers and soldiers who do not keep their qualities and participate in protecting criminals. Not only preservation but also organization. Thus, a big problem is to have police officers and soldiers joining organized crime gangs. This is a serious problem.”
Observing comments on social media about this case, VOA found that Vietnamese public was concerned about the fact that many police officers were involved in crime protection activities.
Forum “Patriot Diary” with more than 884,000 followers re-published the news on the casino case, with a comment that “No social evil exists without being protected by police.”
Also in the forum, commenting on the above statement, some people wrote that “the police accompanying the crime is real” or “protection is the second job of the police.”
Just over a month ago, the Vietnamese media reported that the Ho Chi Minh City police arrested and prosecuted 8 police officers from Phu Tho Hoa ward, Tan Phu district, for protecting and covering up drug storage and trading.
Previously, the most popular case of police protection for criminals was that the two police generals Phan Van Vinh and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, received prison sentences of 9 years and 10 years, respectively in November 2018 for their role in the online trillionaire gambling line.
Former police colonel Nguyen Nhu Phong told VOA that while the police were effective against crime and had officers and soldiers sacrificed in the process, some policemen defended criminals and is “not good, causing pain.”
Mr. Phong, who was also Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper, said that it is time for the police to have a division specialized in combating illegal acts within the forces. He said:
“It is time for the police to scout the police themselves. It is necessary to take more special measures to prevent and supervise the police officers and soldiers from taking negative actions. There must be stronger measures. That is to set up a special agency in the police force, which only works to fight crime in the police force.”
In the social media discussions observed by VOA, many people raised the opinion that the discovered cases showing that there are police officers defending criminals are making people feel worried. “I do not know if I can still believe the police or not, and when detecting a crime, I dare to report it to the police or not,” said a participant.