Truong Van Cam

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Truong Van Cam, later known as Nam Cam, grew up in a poor family in the former Saigon. When Truong was fifteen years old, he was arrested for stabbing a man to death in a fight and spent more than two years in jail. He enlisted in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam after his stint in prison to fight against North Vietnam during the war. Truong was a devout anti-communist, but was captured by Viet Cong agents and the Vietnamese Government forced him to go through a communist re-education camp for three years. Upon his release, he reverted back to his criminal roots in Ho Chi Minh City. He was considered a dishonorably discharged soldier in Qui Nhon before 1975 with a history of law breaking. After 1975, he moved back to Saigon and while working in the area, he got acquainted with more people who had good connections with Communist officials and Public Security officers in the area who later became his close associates. In the late 1980s, local authorities appreciated him as a good citizen having faithfully supported the Communist regime. He started his Nam Cam Gang, and became extremely wealthy. His gang gained power quickly and he became the “godfather” of a mafia-type syndicate. Truong used his money to bribe many higher ups, and to get himself out of trouble. He also opened a few restaurants. In 1994, he was arrested for murder, assault, gambling, organizing gambling, organizing bribery, abetting criminals, and organizing illegal emigration. Due to the intervention from a senior official, Tran Mai Hanh (the director of the national radio Voice of Vietnam), he was released early. Hanh’s job was a major part in the propaganda system, and was only given to the most trusted members of the Party. In 2002, Hanh and another senior official, Bui Quoc Huy (head of police), were expelled from the Central Committee for "having direct connections during a long period with some bad elements," as reported by BBC News. They turned a blind eye to his actions due...
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