New taskforce to tackle crimes against foreigners in Vietnam's southern metro

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A special taskforce will be established in Ho Chi Minh City to handle crimes targeting foreigners, Col. Phan Anh Minh, the deputy director of the city's police department told local lawmakers Thursday.

Minh said the taskforce will be posted at intersections and restaurants where many tourists gather, and more night patrols will be organized, the VnExpress newswire reported.

Minh said city police have recorded 67 robberies attacking foreigners, more than 50 percent of which took place in District 1, this year.

Many Philippine gangs had tempted foreign tourists into gambling to cheat and rob them, he said, adding that local police have busted two groups and expelled them.

At the meeting with members of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council, the local legislature, Minh also said that the municipal police division will build a portal to receive people's complaints about corrupt traffic officers. Other undercover measures will also be used to detect and handle corruption, he said.

Minh accepted that there was corruption among traffic police. He said local police will punish any wrongdoing strictly.

He said more than 3,000 traffic policemen have refused bribes this year, but this has not been recognized as increasing numbers of wrongdoing were recorded.

However, he hoped that lawmakers and locals will also understand that "traffic officers are facing negative impacts from many drivers who are willing to bribe police to ignore their violations."

Asked about illegal racing, the director said although many measures have been applied, lax enforcement has reduced their effectiveness.

He said the police will work on a framework to press criminal charges against illegal racers and lessen pressures on traffic officers so they can focus more on coping with traffic congestion.

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