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Towing boss slashes man after ‘Facebook showdown’ in southern Vietnam

Monday, December 04, 2017, 14:54 GMT+7

The director of a towing company in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has been apprehended after he slashed a man with a machete following a row that began on social media.

Police officers in Cai Rang District, Can Tho City, have arrested Le Tan Tu, 36, the owner of the Tu Anh Towing Service Company, for slashing and injuring another man.

Tu’s company had previously signed a deal with developers of a controversial tollgate to tow vehicles away from it.

The tollgate is part of a BOT (build-operate-transfer) road project in Cai Lay Town, Tien Giang Province, whereby a detour across the Cai Lay section of National Highway 1 was built. 

Since the opening of the tollgate in August, drivers have expressed their opposition to it being placed on the existing highway instead of the new detour.

It means that rather than a fee only being collected from drivers wanting to use the new detour, charge is collected regardless.

The machete Le Tan Tu left at the scene of the incident. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The machete Le Tan Tu left at the scene of the incident. Photo: Tuoi Tre

To make their objections felt, drivers have been paying the toll in small change or even stopping their vehicles and refusing to make payment, resulting in long delays.

Tu’s towing company is one of several that have been hired to resolve the problem.

On Friday last week, a truck from his company towed a car following a request by police.

Many people took photos of Tu Anh’s tow truck, which also revealed the phone number of his company, and posted them to a Facebook group named ‘Ban huu duong xa,’ (‘Friends on the Road’) which has become popular amongst drivers across the country.

An online argument then ensued between Tu and Vuong Quoc Tan, 34, a member of the group and a Can Tho resident.

The pair then arranged a meeting to “sort things out” at Tu Anh’s company headquarters.

The headquarters of Tu Anh Towing Company in Can Tho City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The headquarters of Tu Anh Towing Service Company in Can Tho City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

On Sunday morning, Tan and two other members of the Facebook group arrived at his property to talk with Tu.

Following a short conversation, Tu slashed Tan’s arm with a machete, resulting in a 15 centimeter cut that required Tan to be hospitalized.

Tu confessed to his crime at the police station, while a friend of Tan said that they had only come to meet Tu to talk.

They claimed that they tried to explain to Tu that they had not intended to create any hostility toward him or his company via their posts in the Facebook group.

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