Police recapture 2 escaped prisoners in central Vietnam

TN News

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Police in Khanh Hoa Province's Dien Khanh District have apprehended two prisoners who escaped from a local prison earlier, and are questioning them following a request issued by the prison on January 16.

Initial investigation showed that officials of the A2 prison discovered early Monday morning that Truong Quan, 48, and Nguyen Thanh Thao, 34, who had been in the infirmary, were missing. Their shackles and a hole they apparently used to tunnel out of the prison were found.

Forty officials, plus the local police, were then dispatched to hunt the two prisoners.

At 2:40 p.m., Quan, from Ho Chi Minh City, and Thao, a local man, were spotted in a speeding taxi in Cam Ranh Town, which was heading for Ho Chi Minh City. Police pursued and caught them.

Colonel Nguyen Son, an A2 prison supervisor under the Ministry of Public Security, told Dan Tri news website that Quan and Thao were given VND150,000 (US$7.2) by a cellmate identified as Hiep, before Thao contacted friends in Nha Trang Town, Khanh Hoa Province, who gave the escaped duo more money to buy cell phones and hire taxis.

Quan confessed that he had heard that his wife was having an affair, and escaped in order to punish her and her lover; while Thao told police that he too wanted to seek retribution against his rich family since they did not give him much money on their infrequent visits to the prison, the news website reported on January 17.

Quan and Thao were both sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession and trafficking, and had already served five years before their January 14 escape, according to Dan Tri.

Under Vietnamese law, the organized prison break will tack on at least three additional years to their sentences.

Leaders from the A2 prison also proposed that Dien Khanh District Police punish anyone who may have helped or harbored the two prisoners during their escape.

Earlier this month, a court in Thua Thien-Hue Province sentenced Pham Van Hop, 23, to three additional years in jail after the prisoner escaped from a local prison for 17 days last June. Hop had served more than nine years out of a 19-year sentence after being convicted of murder.

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