Meth-addicted gunsmiths get double-sentences in northern Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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Duong Minh Nhat and his wife Tran Thi Hong Van who were sentenced to 12 and four years in jail June 3 for making and storing weapons illegally. Photo credit: VietNamNet Duong Minh Nhat and his wife Tran Thi Hong Van who were sentenced to 12 and four years in jail June 3 for making and storing weapons illegally. Photo credit: VietNamNet

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A meth-addicted HIV-positive gunsmith from the northern port city of Hai Phong has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for making and stockpiling guns and bombs.
A municipal court sentenced Duong Minh Nhat, 39, to seven years in jail for manufacturing "zip guns" on Tuesday and five years for illegally stockpiling them.
His wife Tran Thi Hong Van, 41, got four years for similar charges.
The couple were already jailed in April on drug charges. He was servings 11 and a half years, and his wife three years.
News website VietNamNet reported that Nhat was caught producing pen-shaped guns at his home using drills and lathes  on June 18, 2013.
A search of his home turned up five pen guns, a revolver, a shotgun, a stockpile of explosives and improvised firearms.
Police seized a further 22 improvised firearms and dozens of gun parts along with over 500 bullets and bullet casings at the home of his female customer, Vu Thi Loan, 54.
Nhat said he and his wife bought their drills in early 2012 and hoped to make a living as machinists. But they didn't earn enough to pay for their meth addiction, so they switched to making weapons for criminals.
They bought a first pen gun and hand-made revolver to use as models and Nhat recalled spending weeks producing his first zip gun.
But by the time he was arrested, Nhat had been able to make four pen guns a day.
His products are said to be more sophisticated than those smuggled from China.
A Hai Phong police source said dozens of officers were deployed to arrest Nhat as the HIV-infected daredevil was willing to go down in a blaze of gunfire.

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