Vietnam drug addict surrenders after fleeing rehab center for 3rd time

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 Nguyen Ngoc Long, 36, at a police station in the central province of Binh Thua when he turned himself in December 18 after escaping from a drug rehab center nine days earlier/ PHOTO: QUE HA

A drug addict who was wanted after escaping from a rehabilitation center in the central province of Binh Thuan for the third time surrendered to the police Wednesday.

Nguyen Ngoc Long, 36, was taken to a police station in the province by his girlfriend, a former police officer who is suspected of once helping him escape from the Ham Thuan Bac District rehab center.

Nguyen Van Nhi, 16, who escaped along with him, also turned himself in.

On December 9 four of Long's accomplices broke into the facility by cutting open its lock, broke open Long's room, and took him away.

Security guards tried to stop them, but they attacked them with knives, injuring one.

Just five days earlier Long had scaled the center's gate to run away with Nhi and another addict, Huynh Van Canh, 23.

They used weapons thrown in by Long's accomplices to keep the security guards at bay.

Long assaulted one of the guards who tried to stop him.

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But the police caught Long three days later after he had shot himself with drugs and took him back to the center.

Canh was arrested last week when trying to flee Phan Thiet town.

Nguyen Thanh Dung, deputy director of the center, said Long was first brought to the center under a compulsory program at the end of last year, but he soon escaped by digging a hole in a wall.

He was apprehended in November.

In Vietnam, hundreds of drug addicts escape from rehab centers around the country every year.

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