A patient at a mental hospital has been arrested for running a drug ring inside the institution in Hanoi.
Police officers under the municipal Department of Public Security confirmed on Wednesday they had broken up an illegal drug racket run by Nguyen Xuan Quy, 39, from Thanh Tri District.
According to officers, many of those implicated in the discovery of the drug ring had complicated criminal records.
Quy had a history of mental illness and was admitted to National Mental Hospital 1 in November 2018.
In early January, Quy was arrested for illegal possession of narcotics but was allowed to continue receiving treatment for his mental condition at the hospital.
He escaped from the hospital on January 7 before being captured by police officers shortly after.
The man established a good relationship with administrators at the hospital and was given more privileges than other patients.
Quy upgraded his room with soundproofing and equipped it with loudspeakers and laser lights, using the space to use drugs and party with friends, some hospital staff members, and prostitutes.
He later began operating a drug ring on the premises of the infirmary.
|The entrance of National Mental Hospital 1 in Hanoi. Photo: Giang Long / Tuoi Tre
Buyers only needed to pretend to be patents’ family members or caretakers to enter the hospital before receiving the products from Quy’s subordinates.
Quy also hired two men to pose as cab and motorbike taxi drivers to keep watch at the entrance of the hospital.
They were in charge of delivering the drugs to other locations as well.
Aside from Quy, police arrested Nguyen Van Ngoc and Nguyen Trung Nguyen.
The three were charged for trading and storing narcotics, as well as organizing drug use.
Nguyen Anh Vu, a technician at National Mental Hospital 1, was taken into custody for failure to report a crime.
Vu tested positive for narcotics at the time of his arrest.
Officers have searched the suspects’ houses and confiscated 6.1 kilograms of synthetic drugs.
The Ministry of Health ordered a prompt investigation into the case and required the infirmary to make a report.
In a report submitted on Thursday morning, National Mental Hospital 1 stated it had ordered relevant units to verify the responsibility of the staff members involved in the scandal, as well as coordinating closely with police officers to assist in their investigation.
All departments have been directed to tighten their patient management protocols.
The hospital’s report did not explain why Quy was allowed to modify his room and operate his drug ring.