Nguyen Thi Xuan Tram, 21, was arrested in the Mekong delta province of An Giang Saturday, carrying two Russian-model K59 handguns and 15 bullets, according to Bui Be Nam, the province's head of the Social Crime Investigation Department.

Tram confessed she had bought the guns and bullets in Cambodia for 2,100 dollars, the official said.

Nam said three other members of the ring, Le Minh Quang, To Viet Hung and To Thanh Hung, were arrested the following day after Tram told police they were involved.

Police also found two K54 handguns hidden at the house of Hung's wife in the neighboring province of Hau Giang. The smugglers said they had bought those guns in Cambodia as well.

'I cannot say yet how many people are involved in the ring and how many weapons they have brought into the country, as further investigation is ongoing,' Nam said.

According to the Vietnamese penal code, illegally stockpiling, transporting, using or trading in military weapons is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - August 5, 2008