|Smuggled shotguns were seized recently by police in HCM CIty. The city police are alarmed at the number of hand guns being smuggled into Viet Nam and sold, often to criminals. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City Police are alarmed at the number of hand guns being smuggled into Viet Nam and sold, often to criminals.
A spokesman for Hoc Mon District Police in HCM City said that in a robbery at Tan Phuoc goldsmith's shop in Dong Thanh Commune on July 2, police arrested Nguyen Phuong Nam, 31, for using a handgun.
Nam allegedly admitted he bought the gun more than a year ago for VND7 million (US$310). He added that he used hand-made bullets as he could not find genuine ones.
A study by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper showed that there was a growing number of people in HCM City selling pistols and other types of weapons.
One arms seller named Hoang sold the guns to northern areas of Viet Nam via the internet.
Hoang told the newspaper that his guns were imported from Mong Cai City in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
The guns sell for VND4-9 million ($180-400) per weapon. The bullets can be made from iron, plastic or rubber.
Another gun seller named Nghia told Tuoi Tre newspaper that he had sold many guns to people working as guards in Hai Phong northern port city.
Lawyer Nguyen Duc Chanh, from the HCM City Bar Association, said that the highest administrative fine for keeping, selling or buying guns was VND40 million ($1,800) and the highest fine for organisation was VND80 million ($3,600).
Violators can be imprisoned for up to five years. — VNS