Following months of investigation, the Can Tho police have arrested five men belonging to a gang that allegedly supplied forged driver’s licenses in Mekong Delta provinces.
Ho (with cigarette) receives documents to make fake driver’s licenses from Kim on a road in Vinh Long Province Photo: Tuoi Tre
They are Ngo Van Ho of Vinh Long Province, Duong Van Kim of Hau Giang, and Nguyen Dinh Sau, Nguyen Dinh Manh, and Tran Van Bay of Binh Duong.
Ho was the alleged supplier of the licenses while the others were his distributors, Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Tran Quang Thang, deputy head of the police’s security investigation division, said.
The gang had been operating since the middle of last year, he said.
On April 22 the police had caught Ho with 18 fake licenses and a fake high-school graduation certificate on National Highway 1A in Vinh Long.
At the same time other officers stopped a bus near the Can Tho Bridge to arrest Kim who was on it.
Kim has confessed to being one of the distributors of fake licenses for the gang.
The two men also gave the police information that enabled them to track down and arrest Manh, Sau, and Bay.
A fake driver's license seized by Khanh Hoa Province police on April 22, 2011
The gang told the police about how they forged the licenses. They would color scan a genuine license, erase the name, and replace it with a new one. They would then paste the fake photo and affix a fake seal on it.
All the licenses bear the forged signature of the deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department, Duong Hong Thanh, the police said.
Other documents related to a driver’s license were also forged by the ring in every detail, including signatures and seals.
After getting a copy of the customer’s ID card and photos, they would deliver a fake license in just a couple of days, charging different rates depending on the nature of the license.
Some of the gang’s customers told the police they paid VND11.5 million (US$558) for a Grade E license for driving passenger vans with more than 30 seats.
For smaller vehicles, the licenses were cheaper, they said.
Ho admitted he had a network in all delta provinces and sold forged licenses to hundreds of people.
Manh said he had delivered eight to 10 since the middle of last year. He worked not only for Ho but also other forgery gangs outside the Mekong Delta.
The police are expanding their investigation to find other members of the gang.
In 2009, during routine traffic policing duties, officers in Can Tho discovered 14 forged car and motorbike driver’s licenses, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Thanh Van, deputy head of the city Road and Railway Traffic Police Department, said.
Last year this number increased to 31, he said.
In the first four months this year they had seized seven fake licenses and 21 others to verify if they were genuine, he added.