Truck driver jailed in Vietnam for bombing tied to terrorist exile group
Affected Countries: vietnam;
A court in Vietnam’s Binh Duong province sentenced a man to more than a decade in prison Tuesday for committing an act of terror after he set off a bomb at the provincial tax office last year, according to state media.
The Binh Duong Provincial Court found Truong Duong, a 40-year-old truck driver from Binh Duong’s Di An city, guilty of engaging in “terrorist activities against the People’s Government” under Article 113 of Vietnam’s Penal Code, the official VN Express reported, citing a statement from the Ministry of Public Security.
Duong was handed an 11-year jail term and ordered to pay more than 800 million dong (U.S. $35,000) in compensation for destroying state assets, it said.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, Duong had received payment from the U.S.-based Provisional Government of Vietnam exile group under the leadership of Dao Minh Quan, which Vietnam declared a terrorist organization in 2018.
It said a woman connected to the exile group named Pham Anh Dao, also known as Lisa Pham, had instructed Duong to go to a convenience store in Binh Duong’s Thu Dau Mot township on Sept. 29 to accept a package containing the explosives from a man named Ha Xuan Nghiem.
On the morning of Sept. 30, Duong planted explosives in the first-floor men’s room of the Binh Duong Tax Department and detonated them according to Dao’s instructions, the ministry said, destroying equipment and knocking down the building’s walls. No one was injured or killed in the bombing.
According to the ministry, Duong was arrested four days later and confessed to his crimes, seeking leniency. Dao and Nghiem remain on the run from authorities.
In recent years, authorities have targeted several cases related to the Provisional Government of Vietnam and imposed harsh sentences on those found to have ties to the group.
On April 8, police in Dong Nai province arrested 52-year-old Luong Thi Thu Hien for allegedly contacting the group via Facebook in early 2018 and receiving money to promote Quan’s planned return to Vietnam to overthrow the country’s one-party Communist leadership. Her case is under investigation.
The Provisional Government of Vietnam is also accused of masterminding a petrol bomb attack that destroyed hundreds of motorbikes at a police warehouse in Dong Nai in April 2017 and an attempted attack on Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City later that same month.
Vietnam has issued international arrest warrants for Quan and six other members of the organization, all of whom are living either in the U.S. or Canada.
Repeated attempts by RFA’s Vietnamese Service to contact representatives of the Provisional Government of Vietnam for a response to Hanoi’s claims have gone unanswered, but Pham Anh Dao recently dismissed accusations that she had directed anyone inside Vietnam to bomb the Binh Duong Tax Department.