Nguyen Tran was a captain with the Saigon Police Department. He was one of the three captains who made up a triad known as the Devil's Three, along with Ngo Van Binh and Van Nguyen. Tran and the members of the Devil's Three received payoffs from vice and drug operators in Saigon amounting to tens of millions of dollars each. They also engaged in smuggling brown heroin to the U.S., often using American military personnel to carry the drugs in diplomatic pouches.
Tran's name is given to Harry Bosch and Eleanor Wish by Bob Ernst of the State Department. Tran escaped Vietnam during the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975 after converting his "dirty" money to diamonds for easier portability. Ernst says that Tran came to the U.S. with Binh, each having $15 million to $18 million in diamonds in their possession.
Since coming to America, Tran has carefully concealed his identity. There is no mention of him in federal or state databases. He does not have a fictitious name filing in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power does not list him, nor do the property tax or voter rolls. Tran's business is in a shopping center called Tan Phu Pagoda in Westminster, Orange County. He has changed his name to Jimmie Bok.
Tran (now Bok) has extensive real estate holdings in southern California under a corporation called Diamond Holdings, Inc. He lives in Beverly Hills and keeps his diamonds in a safety-deposit box at Beverly Hills Safe and Lock at the corner of Wilshire and Rincon. After being warned by Binh, he removed his diamonds from the vault before they could be stolen.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- The Black Echo (mentioned)