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Top ten memorable cases of 2013

Top ten memorable cases of 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 12:32 GMT+7

Tuoitrenews has reviewed the most striking cases that occurred in the past 12 months, including a corruption case at Vinalines that resulted in the death penalty for two ex-leaders of the corporation, and another case involving a doctor who threw the body of a woman into a river after she died post-surgery at his beauty salon.1. Aesthetic doctor throws customer’s body into river   On October 22, Dr Nguyen Manh Tuong, who owns Hanoi-based Cat Tuong Beauty Salon, was arrested for allegedly causing a woman, Le Thi Thanh Huyen, 37, to die after a botched cosmetic surgery and then, with the aid of a salon’s guard, throwing the woman’s body into the Hong (Red) River. Huyen came to the salon on October 19 to have abdominal liposuction and breast lift surgery conducted by Dr Tuong. After the surgery, Tuyen’s condition became worse and worse. Tuong put her on a respirator and gave her a cardiotonic but could not save her. Tuong and a security guard at his salon carried Huyen’s body to Thanh Tri Bridge and threw it into the river. Despite the great efforts of the victims’ family and concerned agencies, Huyen’s body has yet to be found. Hanoi police have charged Tuong with “breaching regulations on medical examination and treatment, drug production, preparations, supply and sale, or other medical services.”  


Dr. Nguyen Manh Tuong is escorted on October 22, 2013 to Thanh Tri bridge where he and his employee allegedly threw the body of a female customer into the river below (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

2.  Lifer’s sentence suspended when real culprit turns himself in After 10 years of serving a life sentence for murder, 52-year-old Nguyen Thanh Chan had his sentence suspended on November 4, 2013, after the real perpetrator handed himself in to police, under a decision of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

The same day, head of the Supreme People’s Procuracy Nguyen Hoa Binh signed another decision to protest the verdict on Chan. Under these decisions, Chan was discharged from prison the same day to reunite with his family in Viet Yen District, Bac Giang Province.

The real killer, Ly Nguyen Chung, 25, also of Viet Yen District, presented himself to police on October 25, 2013, and pleaded guilty to killing the woman, Nguyen Thi H., to steal two rings and VND59,000 (US$2.8) on August 15, 2003. During the past 10 years in prison, Chan always said he was innocent and the prison management sent his petition to the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procurary for consideration.


Nguyen Thanh Chan (in white shirt)  and his relatives when he was released from the prison on November 4 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

3. Ex-chairman of Vinalines gets death penalty On December 16, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced Duong Chi Dung, the former chairman of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), and Mai Van Phuc, the ex-CEO of the State-owned Corporation, to death for their offenses in a corruption case in 2008. Both men were charged with “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences,” and “embezzlement.” In late 2007, Dung approved the purchase of an old floating dock from a Russian company for US$9 million through a Singaporean broker, AP Company. Meanwhile, the dock's owner offered to sell the facility for under $5 million. Vinalines later paid $9 million to AP by bank transfer. Such a deal caused a loss of $17.26 million to the State budget. AP later transferred $1.666 million as a kickback to the accused officials. After fleeing from Vietnam in May 2013, Dung was hunted internationally and seized in Cambodia in September 2013.


Duong Chi Dung was sentenced to death on December 16, 2013 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

4. Abusers of preschool kids detained for prosecution Police in Ho Chi Minh City on December 17 arrested Le Thi Dong Phuong, 31, the manager of Phuong Anh Private Preschool, and Nguyen Le Thien Ly, a 19-year-old nursemaid, for abusing children at the preschool, located in Thu Duc Disotrict’s Hiep Binh Phuoc Ward. The arrests were made after police summoned and questioned them on Monday regarding their abuse of the children, which was reported by both Tuoi Tre and local residents. As shown in the video clip provided by Tuoi Tre, the various types of torture used by the nursemaids are: beating, strangling, pressing the children’s heads on the ground, holding their noses with towels, slapping their faces, and even holding the children upside down over a barrel of water and threatening to drop them into it. The torturers will be indicted on charges of “ill-treating of other persons,” police said.

5. Death to man who chopped off arm to rob scooter The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on December 25, 2013 gave the death penalty to a young boss of a machete gang in HCMC, while giving jail terms to his accomplices. Accordingly, the court sentenced 20-year-old Ho Duy Truc to death for leading the gang to commit attacks on at least 13 people in HCMC using machetes to rob their vehicles and belongings within a 6-month period in 2012. The board of judges said Truc and his accomplices’ acts “terrified the public” and the death sentence for Truc was based on his “dangerous and inhumane acts.” Truc and his accomplices were arrested on the night of November 24, 2012 after an attempt to rob a Honda SH scooter from 29-year-old Nguyen Thi Thuy when she was driving over the Phu My Bridge in District 2.

6. Five aloe wood hunters shot dead in forest While hunting for aloe wood, a very precious resource, in a forest in central Quang Binh Province, five people of a group of seven were shot to death by three unknown men on March 24, 2013. The survivors, Do Van Hien, said his group was seized by three strange men that day. One of them was holding an AK assault rifle. The strangers said they would kill all of them if they failed to pay a ransom. The strangers later agreed to release Ha, one of the seven, so that he could return home and bring back the ransom. They told Ha he must return by the evening of March 25 or they would kill the six others. However, at 2 am on March 24, the strangers took one of the six hostages away and shot him dead. They later gunned down a few others. At that time, Hien had untied himself and run away.  

ImageView.aspx?ThumbnailID=680290Police seized a suspected in the killing of five aloe wood hunters in Quang Binh Province (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

7. Official’s wife pleads guilty after remains found Le Thi Huong, 38, the wife of a Party Committee secretary of a commune in Xa Bang Commune, southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, was charged with murder after police found human remains in her garden on March 14, 2013.

Huong killed Duong Thi Thuy Binh Ha, a 51-year-old woman of Kim Long Commune, on May 14, 2012. She later sold a gold bracelet belonging to the victim. Ha was the former cashier of the commune People’s Committee and also ex-chairwoman of the local Red Cross.

Huong killed Ha by electrocuting her while the victim was repairing a machine for Huong in her house. The killer then burned Ha’s body and later buried her remains in the ground. Police said that earlier on March 6, 2012, Ha sent a letter of accusation to a government agency to complain about some issues related to commune authorities.  


Police used a pump to drain a well near Huong's house to search the victim's body on January 21, 2013 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

8. Death penalty for murder instigator in Vinh Phuc On September 6, the Vinh Phuc Province People’s Court sentenced 21-year-old Phung Manh Tuan to death for leading a gang that killed a local man by beating him violently and then throwing him into a canal over a minor conflict in March.

The victim was 27-year-old Nguyen Tuan Anh, whose body was found floating in the canal on March 17 and was recovered by his family. They brought his coffin to the center of Vinh Yen Town and stayed there for two days, demanding an investigation.

The family accused Tran Khanh Dung, the son-in-law of Phung Quang Hung, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee,  of involvement in the murder, since all six assaulters were Dung’s employees. The chair denied the accusation.

The lawyer of the victim’s family asked the court to clarify whether Dung had been involved in the murder, but the court confirmed that there was no relationship between Dung and the assaulters.  

9. Vietnamese-American wins $55 mln jackpot trial

On January 7, 2013, the District 1 People’s Court in HCMC announced that Vietnamese-American Ly Sam won the case in which he insisted that Dai Duong Company, which owns the Palazzo Club at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel, pay him the US$55.5 million he won while gambling in 2009. The court rejected Dai Duong’s argument that the winning result was “invalid” due to “some fault” with game machine No. 13, which Sam played at the club on October 25, 2009.

The court said that the winning amount was shown on the screen of the game machine and that there was no error report issued by the machine. Therefore, Dai Duong was deemed responsible for paying the prize to the customer. Dai Duong appealed the judgment and an appeal hearing for the case will be opened in 2014.  


Ly Sam, a Vietnamese-American businessman,  is seen at the first-instance trial on December 28, 2012 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

10. Suspended sentence for woman who undressed another out of jealousy On December 9, the Binh Duong Province People’s Court opened an appeal trial for Le Thi Tuyet, 43, who had been given a six-month sentence for “humiliating others.” The court accepted the woman’s appeal for a lighter sentence,  suspending the decision. Tuyet, with the aid of her 16-year-old son, Quy, insulted, assaulted, and undressed N.T.B., 41, a neighbor, on April 16. Tuyet alleged that B was having an affair with Tuyet’s husband. Quy grasped the victim’s hair and beat her on the face while Tuyet tore the victim’s shorts and then stripped her naked, as shown in a clip that was videotaped by a man. After the clip was spread on the Internet, police questioned Tuyet and Quy and took the victim’s testimony. Police later charged Tuyet with “humiliating others” but did not impose criminal treatment on Quy since he is underage.  

Le Thi Tuyet burst into tears when the court converted her jail term into a suspended one (Photo: Tuoi Tre)



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