Criminal offences drop but become more serious in HCM city

Jan. 4 (VNA) -- Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City police investigated more than 9,000 criminal offences last year, which left 104 people dead and 572 injured, and caused property losses totalling VND 95.5 billion.

The yearly metropolitan police figures show an overall fall of 17.7 percent in crime, 20 percent in casualty toll and 19 percent in property losses as compared to 1999.

But, despite the drop, police say, offences were more serious and there are indications that criminal gangs have penetrated law-enforcement agencies.

About 1,460 incidents of drug trafficking involving 2,159 people and 2,145 of drug abuse involving 4,472 persons were detected - a decline of 29 percent for the former and 4.8 percent for the latter, police say.

About 3,400 grammes and 10,075 doses of heroin as well as 57,942 doses of opium were confiscated. 176 brothels were closed, 221 brothel owners arrested and 986 prostitutes sent to re-education camps.

A total of 897 persons were killed and 1,902 injured in 2,245 traffic accidents - a 9 percent decrease from the 1999 figures. On water-ways, 11 people died in 52 water-way traffic accidents with total property losses of VND 88 billion.

Police reported detecting 1,589 economic offences - a decline of 14.5 percent from 1999. The crimes included 703 incidents of trafficking contraband goods, 265 of illegal business practice and 23 of bogus goods production.--VNA