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In Vietnam, commune police leader caught selling illegal firecrackers online

In Vietnam, commune police leader caught selling illegal firecrackers online

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 14:03 GMT+7
In Vietnam, commune police leader caught selling illegal firecrackers online
Nguyen Trung Kien (right) is pictured at Nam Tu Liem District’s police station in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Linh / Tuoi Tre

Police in Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi have launched legal proceedings against two men, including one commune police leader, for selling firecrackers, an act prohibited by Vietnamese law.

The Nam Tu Liem Police Department alleges that a number of people in the district have been selling large quantities of firecrackers, Colonel Nguyen Thanh Long, the district’s police chief, said on Wednesday.

An administrative inspection of My Dinh 1 Ward on December 20 led to the discovery of two cartons containing 31 boxes of fireworks in a tenanted room.

Police were able to confirm that the fireworks belonged to Ha Duc Thuong, a 31-year-old from Ninh Binh Province who had been renting space in the room. 

The local police department seized and sealed the fireworks and invited relevant suspects to the police station to help with their investigation.

At the police station, Thuong admitted that he had asked an online friend to introduce him to a man called Kien, from whom he could source firecrackers for resale.

Thuong purchased firecrackers from Kien twice, including 26 36-piece boxes of firecrackers for VND16.6 million (US$723). He then resold the firecrackers for VND21.5 million ($936).

Thuong then went to Hop Duc Commune in Tan Yen District, Bac Giang Province, to meet with Kien and purchase an additional 31 boxes of firecrackers for VND20.4 million ($886). 

Ha Duc Thuong (right) is pictured at Nam Tu Liem District’s police station in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Linh / Tuoi Tre

Ha Duc Thuong (right) is pictured at Nam Tu Liem District’s police station in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Linh / Tuoi Tre

According to Nam Tu Liem Police, Kien’s full name is Nguyen Trung Kien, 29, and he works as a semi-specialized deputy chief in Hop Duc Commune’s police unit.

After being summoned by Nam Tu Liem District police, Kien admitted to selling firecrackers to Thuong.

Kien said he had sourced the firecrackers from an unknown person on social media.

A search of Kien’s residence led to the confiscation of a box of firecrackers in Nguyen Thi T.’s garden, next to Kien’s house.

Police officers have initiated legal proceedings against both Kien and Thuong for trading contraband.

Vietnamese law prohibits all activities related to the production, trading, transportation, import, export, storage, and use of firecrackers and fireworks and materials thereof, except in some specific cases.

The government recently amended a decree, which took effect on January 11, allowing people to light up fireworks for some special events such as Lunar New Year festivals, birthdays, wedding ceremonies, conferences, grand openings, anniversaries, and cultural activities.

However, the fireworks allowed are the kinds that do not explode, and organizations and individuals are required to buy fireworks from authorized factories and enterprises under the guidelines of the decree.

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