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​Missing Hanoi district chairman found hanged inside ‘secret’ house

Thursday, January 04, 2018, 09:44 GMT+7

The chairman of an outer district of Hanoi, who had gone missing for unknown reasons over the last week, was found dead, hanged inside his ‘extra’ house in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday.

Local residents discovered the dead body at a five-story house in Hoang Van Thu Ward, Hoang Mai District, and immediately notified police officers, believing that the corpse was Nguyen Hong Lam, chairman of Quoc Oai District, who disappeared on the night of December 25.

Police officers had to break the door locked from the inside and saw the body, later confirmed as that of the missing district chairman.

The house in Hoang Mai District is allegedly an extra property of Lam, whose registered permanent residence is in Quoc Oai.

An autopsy has been carried out and officers are still working to determine the cause of death, Hanoi police told reporters at a press meeting on Wednesday.

The scene is Lam’s ‘personal house,’ according to police officers.

The neighborhood in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi, where Nguyen Hong Lam, chairman of Quoc Oai District, was found dead on January 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The neighborhood in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi, where Nguyen Hong Lam, chairman of Quoc Oai District, was found dead on January 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

It is not clear if his family knows of the property as no search had been carried out of the house since Lam went missing. People living near the house only found it suspicious after the corpse began to produce a foul smell.

“This newly-built house has been traded between different owners before [Lam],” one neighbor said.

“The latest owner of the house has kept it locked since purchase and no one has ever been seen living there.”

Do Lai Luat, deputy chairman of Quoc Oai District, who has been assigned to take charge in Lam’s absence, cited both police and family members as saying that they did not find any unusual relationships, or anything abnormal about him, both in his work and personal affairs.

Lam’s last known phone call was traced to be made near the Den Lu Lake in Hoang Mai District, with police searching nearby houses but eventually “found nothing unusual,” Luat said.

The Den Lu Lake in Hanoi where Nguyen Hong Lam is believed to have gone to on December 25, 2017 before going missing. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Den Lu Lake in Hanoi, where Nguyen Hong Lam is believed to have gone to on December 25, 2017 before going missing. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Around the time, the chairman also called his son and said he was “in trouble” before abruptly hanging up without giving further explanations, Luat said, citing investigation reports from police officers.

It was after that last call that his phone began to be out of reach, and the 53-year-old had since failed to show up for work while no one knew his whereabouts, the deputy chairman said.

According to the deputy chairman, Lam had been to work as usual on the morning of December 25 – the day before his disappearance – “without showing any sign of being troubled.”

Nguyen Hong Lam, chairman of Quoc Oai District in Hanoi. Photo: Quoc Oai District Portal
Nguyen Hong Lam, chairman of Quoc Oai District in Hanoi. Photo: Quoc Oai District Portal

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