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Non-lethal weapons illegally sold in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday, November 17, 2014, 13:13 GMT+7

Vietnamese traders are selling different types of non-lethal weapons, including stun guns, in Ho Chi Minh City, ignoring relevant regulations, while criminals often use such tools to rob people.

>> Vietnam bans iPhone stun guns on flights

From an online ad, Tuoi Tre reporters contacted a man named Dai to ask about different types of weapons.

He then described a series of non-lethal weapons including stun pincers, electric batons and Tasers that he was selling at prices ranging from VND750,000 (US$35.2) to VND2.6 million ($122.2).

He focused on a type of stun gun that has a firing range of seven meters and electric batons that are shaped like an iPhone 4s.      Dai said he offered home delivery services, but buyers could also take delivery at Le Thi Rieng Park in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City.

At 10:40 am on November 15, a young man arrived in the said park on a motorbike to meet a man to deliver a weapon, under Dai’s direction.

The youth then took the man to an area of Truong Son Street in District 10 and showed him a stun gun.

The man asked Dai on the phone about a guarantee, and Dai said he offers customers a three-month guarantee for all his products.

As the man hesitated to buy the stun gun, the young man said Dai could make hundreds of millions of dong by selling stun guns. According to a number of electronic traders in HCMC, people like Dai sell their illicit weapons at prices that are four times higher than their buying prices.

On November 15, Tuoi Tre correspondents contacted another trader named Hung, in Tan Phu District, who described weapons including electric batons shaped like a cigarette pack and electric torches that can function as electric batons.

This electric baton, shaped like an iPhone 4s, is sold for VND1.1 million (US$51.6) in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

He later displayed a small electric baton and said it cost VND800,000 ($37.6).

He also introduced stun guns that have firing ranges of 3 to 7 meters.

On the same day, a man named Nam in District 5 offered to sell Tuoi Tre reporters Chinese-made electronic batons for VND1-1.1 million ($51.6).

Neglecting the law    The trade, storage or use of non-lethal weapons without a license violates the Ordinance on Management and Use of Weapons, Explosives and Supporting Tools, said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Doan Ngoc Minh, deputy head of the Department for Administrative Management of Social Order of the HCMC Police.

Recently, police have called on the public to give up their unlicensed weapons and support tools to local police units, Minh said.

Any illegal acts of storage or use of weapons or support tools will be strictly punished, the official said.

Earlier this month, police in Cu Chi District busted a four-member gang that used support tools including stun guns to attack their victims.

The gang, led by Luong Cong Minh, 26, of Go Vap District, had successfully carried out three robberies before their arrest, local police reported.

Police seized from the gang two stun guns, a tear gas sprayer, six scimitars and a folding knife.

Minh told police that he had bought the support tools from traders who illegally advertised their products on the Internet.

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>> Vietnam bans iPhone stun guns on flights  

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