Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the Ministry of Public Security to examine and prevent the online trading of weapons, which is threatening national security and social security.
The Prime Minister’s request follows an article published in Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper on November 21, 2017, stating that the trade of weapons online was reaching an alarming rate.
Statistics from the General Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security showed that over 9,200 cases involving weapons and explosive materials were reported across the country from 2012 to June 2017, the newspaper said.
The sale of weapons had become more explicit and complex, especially on social websites.
From July 1 to August 26 this year, nearly 92,500 interactions, including posts, comments, shares and likes related to the sale of arms were recorded. In addition, over 4,500 interactions related to the sale of explosive materials were also detected.
According to Colonel Đỗ Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the High-tech Crime Prevention Department under the Ministry of Public Security, to meet customers’ demands, account holders would get in touch with smugglers to illegally import several types of guns and support equipment, which cost from dozens to hundreds of millions of Vietnamese đồng.
Many people even use 3D technology to copy, produce and upgrade guns before putting them up for sale.
Colonel Tuấn said due to legal obstacles, it was difficult to prevent and handle these crimes.
For example, for several types of weapons such as hunting guns and alcoholic guns that are deadly, only administrative penalties can be imposed, instead of prosecution and punishment in accordance with the provisions of Article 233 of the 1999 Penal Code (which was amended and supplemented in 2009) on "illegal fabrication, stockpiling, transportation, use, sale or purchase" or "appropriation of rudimentary weapons and support equipment" crimes.
Colonel Vũ Thanh Chương, deputy director of the Hải Phòng City Police Department, blamed the punishment, which he said was not severe enough, to the prevalence and complex nature of online weapons trading. — VNS