Vietnam police alarmed by surge of younger criminals

TN News

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Vietnam police have blamed unemployment and violent, sexual content on the Internet for the fact that the country's criminals are getting younger.

Major General Nguyen Van Ba, deputy head of the Criminal Department at the Ministry of Public Security, said at a conference on December 13 that 68 percent of criminals caught this year were between 18 and 30 years old, news website VnExpress reported.

The average rate was 41 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to official data.

He said that with more than 30,000 businesses shutting down this year due to the economic crisis, many young people have become jobless.

"Poisonous content" online also strongly affected the thoughts and actions of young people, the officer said.

The ministry's spokesperson and office chief Nguyen Danh Cong agreed, also noting that young people have contributed to making human trafficking and the sexual abuse of children "serious issues."

He said crimes are increasing in terms of both quantity and sophistication. Crimes involving explosives increased 187 percent over last year to 66 cases, while assaults on police officers rose by 5.9 percent.

Many syndicates have operated under the guise of legitimate businesses, and some gangs were involved in a variety of criminal activity, ranging from economic to drug related crimes, the officer said.

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Figures provided at the conference showed that more than 11,600 economic crimes were discovered this year, together with 324 cases of corruption.

The police also punished nearly 10,000 environmental violations, arrested 26,000 people for drug trafficking, seizing 690 kilograms of heroin and 175 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Cong said next year the ministry will try to prevent the appearance of new kinds of crimes and contain the use of weapons.

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