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Aug 17, 2023 / 15:44

Vietnam, US cooperate to return two high-level fugitives to US

The commitment of both Vietnam and the US to work together on such cases sets a precedent for future joint operations and reinforces the shared goal of upholding justice and public safety.

Following collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Public Security and US law enforcement entities to arrest two high-profile US fugitives, representatives of the US Marshals Service visited Vietnam from July 11-16, 2023 to identify ways to build on recent success and expand law enforcement collaboration.

 Jaiden Nguyen (l) and Polie Phan. Source: ABC

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in Vietnam demonstrated its commitment to international cooperation and ensuring public safety as it coordinated with US law enforcement to locate and arrest two high-profile US fugitives, Polie Phan and Jaiden Nguyen, on June 20 and June 22, 2023, respectively. The duo, wanted for their alleged involvement in a double murder in Houston in January 2023, were apprehended based on an INTERPOL Red Notice, marking the culmination of a four-month joint transnational fugitive operation.

Polie Phan was captured in Ho Chi Minh City, while Jaiden Nguyen was apprehended two days later in Thanh Nhat ward, Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak Province. The arrests signify a significant achievement for the MPS, which, in the past 11 months, has successfully apprehended four high-profile US fugitives based upon INTERPOL Red Notices.

The successful operation was made possible through the collaborative efforts of various agencies, including Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security’s Foreign Relations Department, MPS Criminal Department South, MPS Criminal Department South Fugitive Division, Dak Lak Province Police, US Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force (Houston), Houston Police Department Homicide Unit, and in-country liaison led by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Overseas Criminal Investigation Unit and DSS Regional Security Office from the US Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City. The joint efforts highlight the growing cooperation between law enforcement agencies of both countries.

US Consul General Susan Burns expressed her gratitude for the investigative work and cooperation with Vietnamese law enforcement, reiterating the significance of this bilateral collaboration in ensuring the safety of both nations. She stated, "We deeply appreciate the investigative work and coordination from MPS officials in Vietnam to help find these individuals so they can face justice in the US. This cooperation between Vietnamese and American law enforcement has ensured both our countries are safer, and I hope the return of these alleged perpetrators brings some comfort to the victims’ families."

In light of the successful returns, leaders from the US Marshals Service Office of International Operations traveled to Vietnam from July 11-16, 2023 for the US Marshals Service's first official visit to the country. Meetings were held in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to express appreciation to the MPS leaders and the officers from MPS’s Criminal Department South Fugitive Division. This visit also aimed to strengthen law enforcement bilateral relationships through discussions concerning training, equipment, and the commitment of both nations to combatting transnational crime.

The successful arrest and return of Polie Phan and Jaiden Nguyen stand as a testament to the effective collaboration between the involved agencies and the swift actions taken by the MPS. The commitment of both Vietnam and the US to work together on such cases sets a precedent for future joint operations and reinforces the shared goal of upholding justice and public safety.