2 Vietnamese psychiatric patients sentenced to death for running drug operation out of hospital

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Two Vietnamese men were sentenced to death for throwing drug parties at a psychiatric hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Nguyen Xuan Quy, 39, and his accomplice Nguyen Van Ngoc were sentenced to death by the Hanoi People’s Court on Aug. 31 for storing, facilitating, using and selling over 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of drugs at the National Mental Hospital.

Quy, who was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for rehab treatment in 2018, was able to gain special privileges by befriending medical staff. In 2020, he managed to renovate his room into a party venue, with soundproofing, strobe lights, loudspeakers and DJ tables. He was also able to obtain large amounts of MDMA, ketamine and methamphetamine.

Although Quy was previously diagnosed with a mental disorder, he was reportedly in a stable state when he committed his crimes. He was given a regular trial as the court deemed he had sufficient control over his awareness and behaviors.

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Along with other patients who struggled with drug addiction, they were able to sell contraband from the hospital’s infirmary. Buyers would reportedly pose as the patients’ caretakers or family. Quy would instruct the patients to deliver drugs by disguising as taxi drivers. He would pay his accomplices 1 million Vietnamese Dong (approximately $42.62) each time and provide them drugs for free.

Quy and his accomplices were busted by police while they were selling drugs in Thuong Tin District on March 20, 2021.

His accomplices — Nguyen Cong Thuong, Nguyen Trung Nguyen, Le Hoang Hai and Bui Chi Hai — received sentences ranging from 7.5 years to life.

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In addition, Quy paid Do Thi Luu, the former department head of the hospital, 10 million Vietnamese dong (approximately $426.21) each month. He also hosted drug parties with former technician Nguyen Anh Vu and nurses Nguyen Minh Hue and Bui Thi Hat.

Although Luu denied her involvement, she was sentenced to three years in prison for abuse of power. Vu received seven years for concealing the illegal use of narcotics, while Hue and Hat both received five years for facilitating drug use.

Vuong Van Tinh, director of the hospital, was dismissed by the Ministry of Health for negligence, while three other vice directors were reprimanded, according to reports.

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Featured Image via Mishal Ibrahim

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