Police in the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An have initiated legal proceedings against a 17-year-old for causing multiple forest fires, two of which were done as an act of vengeance for his issues with a forest owner and local law enforcement.
Nguyen Van Luong, who resides in Thuong Son Commune, Do Luong District, is being held in custody for two months to assist the investigation, police said on Thursday.
According to officers, three wildfires broke out in Thuong Son Commune on June 28, July 11, and July 13, destroying more than 8,000 square meters of pine and acacia trees.
Local authorities initiated an investigation and found out that Luong was the one who set the woods on fire in all three cases.
At the police station, Luong admitted that he had started the first fire as retaliation against a local forest owner due to their personal conflict.
The second incident was an act of vengeance after he was previously caught by police officers for theft.
Police records showed that Luong was arrested for stealing a handbag containing VND4 million (US$172) from a woman at a wedding party in the neighborhood on May 27. He was then released on bail.
Meanwhile, the forest fire on July 13 was “just for fun,” according to the suspect.
Statistics from the provincial Department of Forest Protection showed that 11 wildfires had occurred in Nghe An over the past month, burning down more than 54 hectares of forest.