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Death penalty for bank robber in Vietnam’s Da Nang

Death penalty for bank robber in Vietnam’s Da Nang

Thursday, December 28, 2023, 19:33 GMT+7
Death penalty for bank robber in Vietnam’s Da Nang
Bank robber Nguyen Manh Cuong (R) and his accomplice, Tran Van Tri, at their trial at the Da Nang People’s Court on December 28, 2023. Photo: Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre

A court in Da Nang City, central Vietnam has issued the death sentence to a young man who, assisted by an accomplice, robbed a bank in the city and fatally stabbed the bank security guard last month.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, 25, got the capital punishment for the offense of murder, 20 years' imprisonment for robbery, and four years for illegal trading, storage, and use of military weapons at the trial for him and his accomplice Tran Van Tri, 22, at the municipal People’s Court on Thursday.

The combined sentence for Cuong, hailing from Quang Nam Province bordering Da Nang, is the death penalty, while Tri, a Da Nang native, received a total of 30 years in prison for the same charges.

Through the investigation results and the testimonies of the two defendants, the court determined Cuong was the mastermind of the robbery.

The dead victim in the case was 50-year-old Tran Minh Thanh, a security guard of the branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) in Ngu Hanh Son District, where the deadly case happened last month.     

When consulted by the court, the representative of the victim’s family said they did not claim compensation and requested that the defendants be tried properly according to the law.

At about 1:45 pm on November 22, Cuong and Tri, wearing face masks and helmets, arrived at the bank on a motorbike, according to the indictment.

Tri fired a warning shot while Cuong used a knife to threaten the bank tellers, ordering them to put money into a bag.

As a teller managed to sound the alarm, both robbers could not get the money but had to run away.

As soon as the two got on their motorbike, some bank employees and locals kicked down the bike and seized Tri, whereas Cuong escaped.

Thanh chased Cuong and when he approached the robber, the latter turned back and stabbed the former on the back and in the chest before fleeing the scene.

Local police deployed forces to hunt for Cuong and arrested him at about 2:30 pm the same day after tracking him to Vo Nguyen Giap Street in Son Tra District.

The stabbed security guard passed away at a local hospital at around 3:00 pm due to his severe injuries. 

At the court, the two defendants admitted their crime as specified in the indictment.

They previously told investigators that they were jobless and indebted due to football betting and gambling. 

Cuong said he came from his hometown to Da Nang to seek for a job but could not find one.

He got acquainted with Tri through an online group and they then lived together in a room rented by Cuong in early November.

In order to have money, the two initially planned to commit burglaries but they later changed their mind to bank robbery.

Cuong bought a gun online and a knife at a supermarket, and the two decided to rent a motorbike as the means of travel in the robbery.

The two eyed a bank with only one security guard and they eventually chose the BIDV branch as the target.

Cuong considered and selected possible escape routes upon completion of the robbery, focusing on streets without surveillance cameras.

Before taking action, Cuong and Tri cleaned up their belongings in the rented room and traveled to the Hai Van mountain area to find a place to stay.

The two stayed in the area for five days during which they moved every day on a pre-planned route to get familiar with it.

They initially planned to raid the bank on the morning of November 22 but since it was so crowded at that time, they delayed their scheme until that afternoon.

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Vinh Tho - Doan Cuong / Tuoi Tre News

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