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3 Vietnamese cops suspended for involvement in beating of woman in traffic violation

Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12:28 GMT+7
3 Vietnamese cops suspended for involvement in beating of woman in traffic violation

A traffic police major and two other officers in the southern province of Dong Nai have been suspended for being involved in the beating of a woman in an instance of traffic violation. Major Luong Van Than, Lieutenant Vo Chi Cong, and Junior Lieutenant Pham Manh Tuan were suspended on Tuesday for an investigation into the case, Colonel Duong Thanh Hai, head of the provincial road and railway traffic police department, told Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper the same day. The victim was Do Vu Hoang Anh, 22, of Ho Chi Minh City, assaulted by a man in plain clothes who joined the three police officers at a checkpoint in the Thai Lan T-junction on National Highway 51 in the province on September 4. Anh managed to videotape the case, in which she was beaten in the mouth, which led to it bleeding, and post the video clip on YouTube and her Facebook page later the same day. Col. Hai told Tuoi Tre that police officers have long been banned from using other people as aides while on duty at checkpoints.  Anh provided Tuoi Tre with two videos showing the apologies given to her by Lt. Cong and the man who had beaten her. “My boyfriend was driving me past the rubber woods along the highway in Dong Nai’s Long Thanh Town when we were pulled over by a police team,” she recounted. One of the police officers said her boyfriend would be fined VND750,000 (US$33.3) for speeding, Anh added. “The officer then asked my boyfriend to give him VND500,000 [$22.2] and continue our journey or the team would book the violation and we had to go to the provincial treasury to pay the VND750,000 fine before getting back our vehicle papers from the police,” the woman narrated. Anh then asked the team “What is the nature of giving you VND500,000?” and Lt. Cong shouted at her, demanding that she not deal with the police officers as she did not steer the vehicle. At that time, a man in plain clothes who was standing and writing a report of the case came over to Anh, pushed her, and then gave her a punch in the mouth, causing a bloody injury, according to the woman. Lt. Cong told the man to go away from the scene then.      As soon as the man left, a provincial traffic inspector team of two came and they asked Anh and her boyfriend to come to the Thai Lan T-junction police station, she said. The inspectors then prepared a report and requested that the traffic policemen summon the man who had beaten Anh. Lt. Cong said he did not know that man, and an inspector exclaimed, “Don’t fool around with us!” The man suddenly turned up and showed his personal papers identifying him as Pham Minh Tri, a 35-year-old man. Regarding the assault, Major Ngo Van Cong, head of the station, said, “We don’t know about the problem between Tri and Anh, but after arriving at the station, they reached an agreement.” Explaining her compromise, Anh said, “After apologizing to me, Tri suggested that he pay me VND2 million [$88.7] in compensation. I received the amount from him.” Anh added that when she and her boyfriend was going out of the station, Lt. Cong followed her and suggested that the woman make a written commitment that she had received compensation from Tri and would definitely not lodge any complaint afterward. “It was not until the media covered my case and police said they had no fault that I realized I had been set up to write the commitment,” Anh told Tuoi Tre.

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