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Vietnamese fugitive apprehended in Saitama

Nguyen Van Hai
Nguyen Van Hai eluded police on Thursday in the town of Oizumi (TV Asahi)

SAITAMA (TR) – Police on Friday night captured a male Vietnamese national in Saitama Prefecture who eluded custody in Gunma Prefecture the day before, reports TBS News (Sept. 2).

At 11:20 p.m. on Friday, police found Nguyen Van Hai, 31, in a convenience store parking lot in Kumagaya City, Saitama.

“Several officers surrounded a stopped car,” an employee of the store said. “[Nguyen] didn’t behave violently. He really appeared to be more scared than anything.”

At just after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Gunma Prefectural Police apprehended a man later identified as Nguyen on suspicion of interfering with the duties of a public servant in the town of Oizumi, Gunma. However, Nguyen fled the scene with one of his wrists handcuffed.

Six hours later, Nguyen, who was naked above the waist and barefoot when he fled, is believed to have been spotted later at an apartment complex eight kilometers away in Ota City.

In an effort to receive help from the public in the case, police distributed photographs showing Nguyen. As of 7:00 a.m. on Friday, police had 170 officers searching for the fugitive.

Refugee status

According to police, Nguyen arrived in Japan as a foreign-exchange student four years ago. However, two years later he was accused of overstaying his visa and ordered to leave the country.

After the suspect applied for refugee status, he was released on a temporary basis. But he did not appear at the Immigration Bureau as he had been instructed.