The Binh Xuyen were originally an alliance of bandits and river pirates in French Indochina, but entered politics in 1944. Le Van Vien, called "general", headed the organization. After the fall 1945 rebellion in Saigon, Vien commanded the Saigon area troops, and briefly allied with the Viet Minh in anti-French activities.
Vien, no longer trusted by his original base, joined with the Cao Dai and Hoa Hao in support of Bao Dai as head of the emerging Vietnamese state, in 1947. At that point, he agreed to help hunt down the Viet Minh. For four years, he was Bao Dai's financial partner and a casino owner.
In 1955, the Binh Xuyen attacked Diem's Presidential Palace, and eventually broke up after seven months of warfare. Vien fled to enjoy his fortune, as Ngo Dinh Diem, in as systematic and focused a thing as his government ever did, focused on destruction of the Binh Xuyen.