Central Da Nang City's police are investigating a land appropriation case in which the suspect posed as a journalist and threatened to blackmail the private Tang Nguyen company in Lien Chieu District.
The suspect, Nguyen Thanh Hai, 32, of central Quang Nam Province's Phu Ninh District, introduced himself as a journalist with the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper, to work with company owner Tang Lai Tu.
With knowledge of the company's misconduct – in 2008, their lubricant processing workshop was found to cause pollution – Hai threatened to blackmail them, asking the owner to sell him land at a cheap price.
"Hai paid me VND35 million (US$ 1,800) for 100 square metres of land next to my workshop and built a house there," said Tu.
In 2009, Hai forced Tu to sell him another 500 square metres of land for VND140 million ($7,200), then sold it last year.
The company owner reported the case to local authorities earlier this month. Thanh Khe District's People's Committee chairman, Nguyen Thuong, said the suspect had come to work with the committee many times, each time introducing himself as a reporter with a different publication.
Lao Dong reporter Phan Thanh Hai, whose pen name is Thanh Hai, said the suspect should be punished severely for damaging his and the newspaper's reputation.— VNS