Through the media, especially social networks, the Vietnam Reform Revolutionary Party, or Viet Tan, has become infamous in many countries as an international criminal organization.
For years, Viet Tan has been haunting Vietnamese people as a “ghost”, deceiving the Vietnamese overseas community to extort money, threatening and harassing many innocent people altogether.
Viet Tan has repeatedly smuggled fighters, arms, drugs, and counterfeit money into Vietnam with the aim of overthrowing the government. The group has also conducted the assassinations of journalists and lawyers daring to collect evidence on its crimes.
For these activities, Viet Tan was classified as a terrorist organization by the Vietnamese government in 2016.
According to Vietnamese authorities, Hoang Co Minh – a former Republic of Vietnam commodore-admiral – founded a militant group named “National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam” to launch military and terrorist attacks against the Vietnamese government.
In 1982, Hoang Co Minh established Viet Tan, which is composed of key members of the “National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam”, as the central executive committee of the Front.
Since then, Viet Tan has recruited fighters, arming them with weapons and explosive materials, training them in planning attacks, kidnapping and killing hostages as well as other acts of terrorism and vandalism. It has conducted three bloody “Eastward” campaigns, smuggling fighters and arms from Thailand via Laos and Cambodia into Vietnam in an attempt to occupy remote areas, building secret bases, developing bandits, causing riots and eventually bringing down the Vietnamese government.
However, these plots and plans were soon uncovered and stopped by Vietnamese authorities. Viet Tan could not set up any “secret bases” in Vietnam, and its founder Hoang Co Minh committed suicide on the Thai-Lao border.
Still, Viet Tan’s leaders kept using the “revolutionary goal” of building a war zone, overthrowing the government as a mask to cheat Vietnamese overseas people for their savings.
In the U.S., Viet Tan formed a death squad called “K9”, led by its key members, designated to deter or assassinate Vietnamese-American journalists searching for evidence and writing articles revealing the crimes committed by Hoang Co Minh and his accomplices. Among K9 victims are journalists Duong Trong Lam, publisher of Vietnamese-language newspaper Cai Dinh Lang in San Francisco and Nguyen Dam Phong, founder of Vietnamese-language newspaper Tu Do in Houston, also a CIA undercover agent.
A movie on the five journalists murdered by Viet Tan was produced by Propublica, in cooperation with Frontline, and is entitled “Terror in Little Saigon”.
Nguyen Thanh Tu, the son of murdered journalist Nguyen Dam Phong, has taken a series of activities to claim justice for his late father. Tu has recently held a press conference in San Jose to expose evidence proving Viet Tan was behind the killings of the five journalists, including his father. He also warned the Vietnamese-American not to be tricked and harmed by the group.
Backed by former CIA and FBI officers and two large law firms based in Washington D.C. and New York, Tu has filed a case against Viet Tan before the U.S. court, which is scheduled to hold a hearing of the case later this year.
According to Vietnamese press, Viet Tan is still recruiting, training and instructing members to sneak into Vietnam, inciting protests against the government, disturbing public order, arousing riots, kidnapping and killing hostages. It is also providing members with overseas as well as online courses focusing on vandalism and terrorist attacks, uploading video instructions on kidnapping and bomb making on the Internet for anti-government purposes.
Up until now, Vietnamese authorities have arrested and charged a number of Viet Tan’s members who was responsible for terror activities, including Nguyen Quoc Quan, Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, and Truong Leon.