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NCJ Number: 119351 Find in a Library
Title: Vietnamese Crime Network (From Crime and the New Immigrants, P 33-39, 1989, Harold M Launer and Joseph E Palenski, eds. -- See NCJ-119350)
Author(s): G Gross
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The victimization of Vietnamese immigrants in U.S. cities by their own countrymen, who are referred to as "Saigon cowboys," is considered.
Abstract: The cowboys are low-key, sophisticated criminals who make their living by victimizing Vietnamese communities. They specialize in robbery, extortion, gambling, prostitution, and occasionally murder, and their main weapons are veiled threats, bribery, and the frightened silence of victims. The victimization problem is most acute in cities with established Vietnamese communities where immigrants have formed their own thriving business sectors. Although law enforcement has made some inroads against the cowboys as Vietnamese businessmen slowly learn to trust the police, there are signs that the cowboys are expanding their activities to include auto insurance fraud. Unlike black or Hispanic street gangs, the Vietnamese do not advertise their presence with graffiti or garish dress. Wherever they go, the Vietnamese tradition of extended families guarantees them lodging and sometimes a base of operation. Often, they identify themselves to their victims merely as working for a locally prominent Vietnamese figure. Depending on the clout of the individual whose name is evoked, that alone may be enough to install fear and force compliance. Many Vietnamese are confused and intimidated by the American criminal justice system, and this affects their willingness to speak out when they have been victimized. Police officers generally agree that the key to the cowboy problem is in the hands of the Vietnamese community itself.
Main Term(s): Asian Americans
Index Term(s): Cross-cultural analyses; Cultural influences; Minority crime causes
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