U.S.-Việt Nam Law Enforcement Cooperation Leads to the Return of Two High-Level Fugitives to the U.S.

August 17, 2023 - 19:20
Following collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Public Security and U.S. law enforcement entities to arrest two high-profile U.S. fugitives, representatives of the U.S. Marshals Service visited Vietnam from July 11-16, 2023 to identify ways to build on recent success and expand law enforcement collaboration.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in Việt Nam demonstrated its commitment to international cooperation and ensuring public safety as it coordinated with U.S. law enforcement to locate and arrest two high-profile U.S. fugitives, Polie Phan and Jaiden Nguyen, on June 20 and June 22, 2023, respectively. The duo, wanted for their alleged involvement in a double murder in Houston in January 2023, were apprehended based on an INTERPOL Red Notice, marking the culmination of a four-month joint transnational fugitive operation.

Polie Phan was captured in HCM City, while Jaiden Nguyen was apprehended two days later in Thanh Nhất ward, Buôn Ma Thuột, Đắk Lắk Province. The arrests signify a significant achievement for the MPS, which, in the past 11 months, has successfully apprehended four high-profile U.S. fugitives based upon INTERPOL Red Notices.

The successful operation was made possible through the collaborative efforts of various agencies, including Việt Nam's Ministry of Public Security’s Foreign Relations Department, MPS Criminal Department South, MPS Criminal Department South Fugitive Division, Dak Lak Province Police, United States Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force (Houston), Houston Police Department Homicide Unit, and in-country liaison led by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Overseas Criminal Investigation Unit and DSS Regional Security Office from the U.S. Consulate General Hồ Chí Minh City. The joint efforts highlight the growing cooperation between law enforcement agencies of both countries.

U.S. Consul General Susan Burns expressed her gratitude for the investigative work and cooperation with Vietnamese law enforcement, reiterating the significance of this bilateral collaboration in ensuring the safety of both nations. She stated, "We deeply appreciate the investigative work and coordination from Ministry of Public Security officials in Việt Nam to help find these individuals so they can face justice in the United States. This cooperation between Vietnamese and American law enforcement has ensured both our countries are safer, and I hope the return of these alleged perpetrators brings some comfort to the victims’ families."

In light of the successful returns, leaders from the U.S. Marshals Service Office of International Operations traveled to Việt Nam from July 11-16, 2023 for the U.S. Marshals Service's first official visit to the country. Meetings were held in HCM City and Hà Nội to express appreciation to the MPS leaders and the officers from MPS’s Criminal Department South Fugitive Division. This visit also aimed to strengthen law enforcement bilateral relationships through discussions concerning training, equipment, the commitment of both nations to combatting transnational crime.

The successful arrest and return of Polie Phan and Jaiden Nguyen stand as a testament to the effective collaboration between the involved agencies and the swift actions taken by the MPS. The commitment of both Việt Nam and the United States to work together on such cases sets a precedent for future joint operations and reinforces the shared goal of upholding justice and public safety. VNS