Created: 1/1/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible


Ministry of National Defense Military Security Department

The Military Security Department (Cue Bao ve Quan Doi/MSD)ilitary intelligence and security service, which has historicallyilitary prisons and detention system in the People's Armed Forces of Vietnam (PAVN). Although overtly under the General Political Department of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's (SRV) Ministry of National Defensehe MSD was covertly subordinate to the Ministry of Interior (MOI). The MSD has been under the MOI and its predecessor Ministry of Publicnd Directorate General for Public, since its official establishment under the MND/PAVN on Between thes and the MSDtaff-line department of the MOI/MPS with the 2 Military Security Department was subordinate to the MOI's Protection Bloc (Khoi Bao Ve) between5 and Inhe MOIajor reorganization, which resulted in the upgrading of its professional blocseneral department (tong cue) structure with subordinate departments. The MOI's Protection Bloc was dissolved with subordinate departments placed under the MOI's General Department for the Development of Forces, the General Department for People's Police, and the General Department for People's Security which was renamed the General Department for Counterintelligence

The MSD has primary responsibility for the internal security of the MND and PAVN. It is the only known military service with the power to investigate, arrest, detain and interrogate criminal and espionage suspects in the MND/PAVN. Espionage and national security investigations are coordinated with the MOI which is responsible for the conduct of all counterintelligence and national security cases. CDV officers served as military prosecutors in espionage and national security related cases brought before military tribunals. Tho MOI provided the MSD with professional guidance, technical equipment, personnel, and training.

MSD alsoertical chain of command oversecurity components in the PAVN down to the Corps, front and military region politicalhave military security offices, which have at least


one temporary detention facilityraan staff fQr military offenders. Division, brigade, major city and provincial military command political staff offices have military security sections, which have at least one temporary pre-trial detention facilityman staff for military offenders. There were no formalized detention facilities at the regimental and battalion levels. Military offenders, who were tried, convicted and sentenced before military tribunals, were transferred to MOI/MPS-administered prisons {reeducation camps) to serve more than one year sentences.

The MSD was headed by Chinese-trained Senior Colonel/Major General Tran Kinh Chi from6 toenior Colonel/Major General Pham Kiet, and Senior Colonel Tran Hoai. Senior Colonel Tran Kinh Chi was acting director9 and Deputy Directors included Soviet KGB-trained Senior Colonel Pham Thai aka Nam Thai aka Tran guoc Hung,9 to atGB-trained Senior Colonel Nguyen Chi,1 toolonel Nguyen Nhu Kinh, 1 toieutenant Colonel Le Minh Tien aka Le Van Tien,, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Kinh. Of these individuals, only Senior Colonel Pham Thai has been directly associated with POW's by name. Senior Colonel Pham Thai had previously headed the MSD's Forward Command in South Vietnam between4 anduring which he hod an undefined role in the release of POW's. enior Colonel Pham Thai was later reported to be in charge of the PAVNomplex of reeducation camps in the northern SRV which held0 ARVN/GVN officers and officials betweenndhen the PAVNomplex was closed with all ARVN/GVN inmates transferred to central-level MOI reeducation camps. This Senior Colonel Pham Thai may be identical with MSD Deputy Director Senior Colonel Pham Thai.

The MSD maintained, asman headquarters staff inside thehaped building inside the MOI headquarters compound at No. ran Binh Trong Street, staff at this MOI headquarters address included the MSD Director and his Deputy Directors. The MSD telephone number {unknown), as well as the residential telephone numbers (unknown) for the MSD Director and Deputy Directors were listed in the classified MOI telephone book. Other MSD staff offices were located inside the MND headquarters Citadel compound.


pre-trial Vietnam as

6. Of the known MSD headquarters staff offices, interrogation OfficePhong SO Chap Phap) was the central authority over MSD interrogation and detention facilities. All information on Offices dated Officead the authority to arrest, detain and interrogate national-level suspects and provided guidance for military security temporary detention facilities throughout the

Officead at least three central-level temporary detention and interrogation facilities in North

these three facilities which

presumablyman staffs. Office SOrofessional staff ofnterrogators under the command of Soviet KGB-trained Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Bich and his deputies Majors Ngo Dang Nien and Vu Xuan Ca. MSD Lieutenant Colonels Ho Ngoc Nhuan and Nguyen Van Hau were also Involved with Office

7. During the Vietnam War years, involved with POW's in bothNorth and SouthJ^ietnam. Between

, theof U.mmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam


the MSD was directly

MPS, rather than

the involvement of rd force personnel for

the MND, had primary responsibility for thedetention, interrogation, and exploitationept complete records on. POW's, who hadin North Vietnam and who had been transferredfacilities which were administered by the MPS andwere conducted. This would include recordsPOW's who were placed in facilities that wereadministered by the MPS Prisons Managementthe MSD, or wore reportedly jointly guarded by the MPSMND General Political Department's Military(Cue Quan Phap/MJD). MJD in administering orPOW detention


The MSDilitary prison system to arrest powers, interrogation, and security 9ua,raresponsibilities. The MSD and the MOI/MPS had shared responsibilities for the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum guard rorce for providing bodyguard protection for general-grade officers, who were Vietnamese Communist Party (VNCPJ Central Committee members.

the -green" uniformed troops of the MPS People's Armed Public Security Forces (PAPSF) provided the external perimeter guard force personnel for prisons and detention facilities in North Vietnam, not the PAVN.


MND Military Justice Department provided the external security force personnel for the Son Tay Prison and. POW detention facilities in North Vietnam

the internal administration of these TacTlin^rwpie under the MPS which. POW prison records and which directed the interrogation. POW's at

Justice Dcpoartment was responsible for the Son Tay or Camp Hope Prisonf0 Son Tay Raid fame, the Bat Bat or Briorpatch Prisonnd the Dan Hoi or Camp Faith Prison, which. POW's before Although the Camp Hope Prison was not used again after the0 Son Tay Raid, the facility was administered by the MSD The Bat Bat Prison was jointly administered by the MPS Prisons Management Department and the

claimed it was guarded by the Military Justice Department, although his release certificate was signed by the MSD.

the Vietnam War, the MSD had two majorin South Vietnam: the PAVN Military Region 5Staff Department's Military Security Office; and, South Vietnam Liberation Army (SVNLA) PoliticalMilitary Security Office. PAVN MR-5over the area between GVN Khenh Hoa andand the demilitarized zone. The PAVN's SVNLA wasarm of Hanoi's Central Office for Southwhich had jurisdiction over the rest of SouthCambodia. Of the two major forward commands.

MM about theolitical Staffs Military Security Office otheT than that it was commanded during the3 by Majors Phuong and Nhu and had at least one detention camp

SVNLA Political Staffs Military SecurityBao Ve aka Officeumber ofsurveillance, technical staff, section (ban chap phap). The(Sectiondministered one major camp withat national-level for pavjj SVNLA militarycaptured GVN "spies." 0 Camp was established




5 with three subcamps ,, 0 was later redesignated as5 Camp which had three As5 was commanded by Major Nam Sanh, who was supportedan staff and was located one kilometer north of Choam Village, Mimot District, Kompong Cham Province, Cambodia. Subcamps 1, 2,man staffs. As of the three subcamps were known,5as located near Katum in Tay Ninh Province, 55 were locatedeters. eld PAVN SVNLA offenders convicted on major criminal5 held PAVN SVNLA offenders convicted on

counterrevolutionary charges5 held PAVN SVNLA offenders convicted on espionage charges, as well as captured GVN spies. No foreign nationals were reported in detention in this camp complex.

d April_ litary


8 and9 in Tay Ninh

11. Although the SVNLA Political Staff's Military Security Office was not responsible for the administration of detention facilities. POW's or other foreign nationals, it reportedly had access. and foreign POW's who were detained in the SVNLA Political Staff's Enemy Proselytizing Office (Phong Dich Van) camp complex. SVNLA Military Security Office personnel were allowed to interrogate POW's in this camp Although security personnel inter considered forre-release military security were released in October Province -

12. The SVNLA political staffs Military Security Office was commanded by KGB-trained Colonel Pham Thai aka Nam Thai ak; Tran Quoc Hungnd KGB-trained Lieutenant Colonel Le Quoc Sung aka Ba Sung9 to. Deputy Chiefs included KGB-trained Major Le Quoc, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tai Giam aka Bayo, KGB-trained Lieutenant Colonel Vu Binh aka Namieutenant Colonel Le Van Sen aka Nam, and Major Le Huu. As ofolonel Le Quoc Sung supervised Technical Section 4, Interrogation Section 5, and Security Guard Section 6- Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tai Giam supervised Surveillance Section 2; Lieutenant Colonel Vu Binh supervised General Research Sectionurveillance Sectionurveillance and Detention5 Colonel Pham Thai had an undetermined role in




tho release of POW's during the period ho headed the SVNLA Political Staff's Military Security Office. Upon return to Hanoi inhai became an MSD deputy director in charge of operations in South Vietnam and was promoted to senior colonel rank.

13. Like its MSD Headquarters, the SVNLA Political Staff's Military Security Office aat on topertical chain of command over all military region, division, sub-region and provincial military command political staff military security components, which administered at least one detention enmo for


Province, Cambodia;5 Campmari staff


as formed

lilitary Region

14. For example, the PAVN 1st Infantry Divisionetention camp as of3 for PAVN deserters and military criminals in the Ben Van area) in Banteay Meas District, Kampot Province, Cambodia. The PAVN 9th Infantry Division hadampman staff fornmates in the Ta Pan areaf Kompong Cham Province, Cambodia. The PAVN Military RegionPolitical Staff's Military Security Section had at least two camps as of1 for PAVN offenders in Cambodia. They were: 5 Camp held major PAVN criminal offenders in an areailometers north of Thma Samlieng village, Santuk District, Kompong Thorn Province, Cambodia; and0 Camp held minor PAVN criminal offenders in an areailometers north of Thma Samlieng Village, Santuk District, Kompong Thorn Province. Military0 was established in and was responsible for the operational area of Kompong Thorn, Siera Riep, Oddar Meanchey, Battambang Province, and for Kratie and Stung


00 and had an operational area which covered Kompong Cham, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng Provinces. Cambodia, and northern Tay Ninh Province. As of0 was headquartered in


northern Phuoc'Ninh'District. Tay Ninh Province. Militaryolitical Staffs

S F.

mm-arv Security Office had9 Camp asn Jhe Irefof Khanh Binh Tay Village, Song Ong Doc District An Xuyen Province- Ho foreign nationals were reported in detention at any of these camps.

elations military MSD, and monitoredert assigned Major div component for milit

In the case of Laos, the MSD Headquarters Foreign Officeonitored and supervised the Pethet Lao security branch, whose officers were trained by the the MSD Headquarters Battlefield Security Office 49

the security situation in Laos. The MSD sat onchain of command over all MSD personnel andthe political staffs throughout the PAVN inand brigade political staff militarypresumably administered at least one detpntion

16. Following the communist takeover of South Vietnam inanoiND Forward Headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) inside the headquarters compound of the former ARVN Joint General Staff (JGS) which was located adjacent to but outside the Tan Son Nhut Airbase. The MND Forward Headquarters had jurisdiction over the area from Phu Khanh and Dac Lac Provinces southward to southernmost Minh Hai Province. The MND Forward Headquarters was structured along the same general department and department lines as the MND Headquarters in Hanoi. The PAVN SVNLA Political Staffs Military Security Office relocated to HCMC and became known as tho MND Forward General Political Department's MSD. The MND Forward Headquarters was given limited responsibility for the administrationeeducation camp system for captured ARVN/GVN between5 and7 when all reeducations for ARVN/GVN were transferred to MOI control.

17 The MSD Forward Headquarters in HCMC sat on topchain of command over all military region,division, and provincial military commandmilitary security components, which administered at detention camo for milH-arv


18. Following the PAVN invasion and overthrowal of Pol pot's Democratic Kampuchea (DK) in earlyanoi deployedombat troops in Cambodia. Five PAVN Forward Commands were established in Cambodia. Front Political Staff Department Military Security offices had at least one temporary detention facilityman staff. Subordinate division military security offices also had at least one temporary detention camp. BHLVHH^BBflH^MJHHI comment on the following camps: ad9 "Discipline" Campear Siom Riop City, Siem Riep-Oddar Meanchey Province which heldilitary offenders on desertion and minor criminal charges. Major offenders were transferred to either Militaryacilities in the southern SRV or to thehi Hoa Prison in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Thend Infantry Divisionemporary "discipline" camp at Chong Kal, Siem Riep-Oddar Meanchey Province which held aboutnmates. The carap was commanded by Captain Vu Ngoc Minh and his deputy. Senior Lieutenant Nguyen Van Can. Minor offenders were held about three months before being returned to their units, while other more serious offenders were transferred for further disposition to9 Camp. ilitary Specialist5 for Siom Riep-Oddar Meanchey Province had8 Discipline Camp at Chong Kal, Siem Riep-Oddar Meanchey Province. Theth Infantry Division had theeeducation Carap in Tay Ninh Province, southern SRV. Cambodian criminal suspects and captured DK and Cambodian non-communist resistance members wereew days before being turned over to unspecified People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) authorities. In this MSD-administered detention system, prisoners were held under guard in barracks quarters at the battalion level. Regimental commanders had the authority to detain prisoners for up to three days; prisoners were held at the division levelaximum of seven days; front commands could held prisoners up toays; and, their parent military regions held prisoners with sentences of more thanays. Except for ethnic Cambodians, no other foreign nationals were reported in detention in this MSD-administered combat tone camp system. Asll PAVN combat forces had been withdrawn from Cambodia, leavingmall PAVN military advisory presence which should have continued its relationship with the PRK MND. At least one PAVN advisory specialist was assigned to all departments in the PRK MND's general department structure. MSD advisory specialists worked closely with their PRK MND MSD counterparts who were trained by the MSD in Vietnam.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: