The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court yesterday, July 25, sentenced two men to death for killing a woman and throwing her body in a river last year.
Chau Kim Huynh, 39, and Tran Van Trung, 47, of the city’s Tan Binh District were found guilty of murdering and robbing Tran Thi Nga, Huynh’s sister-in-law and creditor.
Meanwhile, Phan Minh Thanh, 36, their cohort in the act, was sentenced to life for the same crimes.
Huynh lent VND850 million (US$41,300) to the other two at an interest rate of 8 percent a month in April last year.
Of this, VND500 million was from Nga, a resident of District 10.
Trung and Thanh in turn lent the money to others at a higher rate, hoping to pocket the difference. But soon afterwards, their debtors fled.
Photo: Dan Tri
After coming to know about this, Huynh hatched a plot with his two friends to kill Nga to avoid repaying her.
He invited her to join them on a trip to Cambodia to buy a car. Nga agreed and on May 7, 2010, they left by a hired car.
Thanh drove to Cu Chi District where the other two strangled Nga to death and stole two diamond rings, a gold necklace, an Iphone, and VND1.5 million in cash.
They then went to Dong Thap Province and threw Nga’s body into the Xang River after packing it in two sacks along with a rock.
They returned to HCM City where Huynh took Nga’s motorbike from a parking lot - where it had been left before leaving for Cambodia - and sold it to a man in District 12.
The trio then went to Cambodia and sold the jewelry.
On May 18 Tran Thi Bich Lan, Nga’s sister, reported to the police that Nga was missing.
On June 12 the police got information about a body being found in the Xang River. They identified the body as Nga’s and launched an investigation into her affairs.
They soon got to know that she had lent VND800 million to Huynh and interrogated him. He pleaded guilty and also fingered Trung and Thanh.
Project to help ex-addicts with HIV
A micro-finance project that will create jobs and income generation opportunities for HIV-infected and affected people as well as rehabilitated drug addicts was launched in HCM City yesterday, July 25.
The project will be implemented by the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) in partnership with Family Health International 360 (FHI 360) and the HIV Workplace Project with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The one-year project aims to help people living with HIV and former drug users, including those currently on Methadone maintenance treatment, to strengthen their economic development capabilities for better integration into the society and improve the quality of their life.
Around 70-100 individuals of the target group in three pilot districts of Binh Thanh, 4 and 8 in the city will benefit from the project, said Tran Van Tien, deputy director of VBSP's HCM City branch.
Each individual can take out a preferential loan worth VND20 million (US$970) at most, Tien said.
The loan will help them better contribute to the society in a sustainable way, and this would in turn, reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on the community as well as relapses among former addicts, said Wayne Wiebel, USAID Viet Nam's senior HIV prevention and drug rehab technical advisor.
The bank will take over the project funding and mobilise additional potential sources from the Government to maintain the services in the following years.
A total of 9,513 former addicts, who are under supervision at localities in the city, are trying to integrate into society after returning home from rehabilitation centres, according to the city's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Five clinics in the city's districts 4, 6, 8, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc are providing methadone maintenance treatment to 989 drug users at present.
Father, son arrested for faking diplomas, seals
Dong Nai Province police have arrested Nguyen Thanh Trung, director of the Vocational Training and Employment Services B-Hoa II Co., Ltd., and his son for forging diplomas, health certificates, and seals.
Trung and his 19-year-old son, Nguyen Thanh An, would be tried for “counterfeiting documents and seals of agencies and organizations,” said the provincial Security Investigation Police Department.
From a tip-off from the public, the police conducted a raid on the company, located in Long Binh Ward, Bien Hoa City, on Saturday and seized fake vocational training certificates, university and high school diplomas, medical check-up certificates, and documents and seals of many agencies, including people’s committees and police departments.
They also seized a number of equipment and tools used for making those counterfeit papers.
Trung confessed he had forged fake papers and seals since the middle of last year and sold them at various prices.
His son was the deliverer of fake items to his customers, Trung said.
The police are expanding their investigation to track down the users of the fake papers and seals.
One dies in Ha Tinh bus accident
One passenger died and five others were injured in an accident between a truck and two buses on National Highway 1A in Dau Lieu Commune, Hong Linh Town, in the central province of Ha Tinh early yesterday, July 25.
The truck, which was heading south, crashed into a 24-seat local bus after clipping another that was stationary by the roadside.
Initial investigations showed that the truck's tyre burst and the driver lost control, leading to the initial collision.
C.Bank branch boss not yet a high school graduate
Inspectors have found out that the director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s branch in Bac Lieu province does not have a high school diploma.
After one month of inspection, the Bac Lieu Provincial Inspectorate Committee concluded that Mr. Ho Thai Nguyen has committed several wrongdoings in credit lending and education transparency.
According to the conclusion, Mr. Nguyen, director of the State Bank of Vietnam (central bank)’s branch in Bac Lieu does not have a high school diploma but nevertheless has obtained a university degree.
Nguyen claimed that he did graduate from high school but lost the diploma. However, he failed to inform which educational institution issued his high school degree.
The Inspectorate Committee has called for verifying Mr. Nguyen’s high school education status and revoking Mr. Nguyen’s university diploma.
The Committee also found out several other wrongdoings.
According to Thanh Nien, it found out that Mr. Nguyen provided unauthorized loans, illegally issued documents regarding personnel appointments, and illegally granted licenses to open transaction offices of the People’s Credit Fund.
The Committee has reported the findings to the local Communist Party Committee and the state bank governor.
Just this month, Truong Van Dung, the secretary (i.e head) of Huong Toan commune Communist Party Committee in Thua Thien Hue province was found using a fake high school diploma.
In 2005, Dung borrowed the high school degree from Pham Huu Thuan, 27 and erased Thuan’s name, took out Thuan’s photo and other personal details.
Mr. Dung then wrote his own name down, attached his own photo and claimed the degree was his.
Meanwhile, 52 government officials in An Phu District, An Giang Province in June were similarly found to use fake high school graduation diplomas.
They are all top officials at district and commune levels with many being members of the Communist Party.
The officials admitted that the diplomas are counterfeit; and some confessed they had to resort to buying a diploma at several million dongs after repeatedly failing their high school graduation exams.
1,600 schools to get fresh water supplies
More than 1,600 secondary school students in the two poverty-stricken districts of Binh Son and Son Tinh in the central province of Quang Ngai will benefit from clean water supply systems, lavatories and hand-washing faucets in the coming school year.
Built at a cost of US$12,655, the new facilities replace restrooms that were destroyed by storms in 2009.
The facilities were built with funds raised through over-time work by engineers with Intel Products Viet Nam Ltd under an effort co-ordinated by charity organisation East Meets West.
Japan provides 15bil yen for Vietnam water supply project
The Japanese government has provided 10-15 billion yen for a water supply project in Vietnam through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The sum will be used to build and manage water supply systems and waste treatment plants in Hanoi and surrounding areas.
The Vietnam Water Supply, Sewerage and Environment Investment Construction Corporation (VIWASEEN) and Japan’s Metawater Company will take part in the project.
JICA will evaluate the project this month and consider other assistance projects, such as building schools in Vietnam and a poverty reduction initiative in Pakistan. The agency hopes to help Japanese businesses export their technologies to foreign countries and improve infrastructure in developing countries.
2,500 die of cervical cancer in VN yearly
Vietnam every year has 5,174 new cervical cancer cases and 2,472 women die of the disease on average, said a report at the conference held by the Vietnam Preventive Health Association on Sunday.
The disease, which is usually found in women between the age of 35 and 60, is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV types 16 and 18, which account for more than 80 percent of the cases, the Association said.
HPV is present in 100 percent of cervical cancers, of which 80 percent are squamous cell carcinoma, said Prof. Marc Steben, from the Social Medicine and Obstetrics Department of the University of Montreal, Canada.
A Papanicolaou (Pap) test is a very simple way to test the cervix for abnormal changes in cells that could lead to cancer if not treated. The test is almost always done with a pelvic exam, during which the female reproductive organs are checked for changes in size or shape.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. Almost 80 percent of cases occur in low-income countries, where cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women.
TV to air show on Agent Orange victims
A special television programme dedicated to Agent Orange (AO) victims in Viet Nam will be broadcast live on August 6 on a Viet Nam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) channel and 12 local channels across the country.
The programme is being organised by the Viet Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, Thai Nguyen and Bac Giang-based associations, and SVA Financial Group, aimed at marking the 50th anniversary of the AO disaster in Viet Nam.
Yesterday, July 25, SVA Financial Group donated VND500 million (US$24,500) to support those who were exposed to dioxin.
US troops sprayed some 80 million litres of defoliants onto central and southern Vietnamese battlefields from 1961 to 1971, exposing about 4.8 million Vietnamese people to the chemical.
Wanted: foreign trash; local waste not up to par
The Vietnam Waste Solution Company (VWS) is seeking approval from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to import 10,000 tons of non-categorized wastes from the US to test its new waste separating and recycling plant, raising public concerns as there is a huge domestic waste supply.
VWS is the investor of the Da Phuoc Waste Treatment Complex in Binh Chanh District, which receives 3,000 tons of trash every day.
As the public is questioning why such huge amount of garbage discharged to Da Phuoc would not be used, VSW said the domestic waste “failed to meet the plant’s requirements”.
The company said they only needed the recyclable waste including papers, paperboards, uncut plastic packaging and some scraps that are yet to be categorized, while the garbage discharged to Da Phuoc is not separated into recyclable and non-recyclable [waste].
The plant in question, with the capacity of 500 tons of waste a day, will separate the waste into categories before they are recycled, VSW said.
The demand to import uncut and non-separated waste of VSW has raised public concerns as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment stipulates that plastic waste must be cut into pieces that are less than 5cm in length and width, and the scraps must also be categorized before imports.
But if foreign trash is categorized before imports as per laws, it would be useless in serving the separation test.
Hence, the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment recommended the People’s Committee to approve the importing plan, saying the waste must not be separated in advance since it is aimed to test the separation function of the plant.
The department added that VWS had no demand of regularly importing waste for production, but only needed this temporary import.
Waste must be categorized before import…
The HCMC Customs told Tuoi Tre that the uncut and non-separated waste as demanded by SWV would not be able to pass custom clearance since this is against the regulations proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The Vietnam Environment Administration's Waste Management and Environment Improvement Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment also said that the imported waste must meet certain requirements of the Vietnamese Law on Environmental Protection, and the standards of trading and importing waste.
The Law on Environmental Protection stipulates that waste must be cleaned and separated before imports, the department said.
The municipal People’s Committee has thus approved VWS’s demand, but required that the imported waste must be cleaned and separated as instructed by the Waste Management and Environment Improvement Department.
This leaves the public wondering about the futility of importing the waste since it would be separated before imports and thus would serve no purposes in testing the waste separating function.
Cafés, restaurants invade Hanoi’s parks
Hanoi’s modest public spaces are being severely encroached upon by restaurants and cafés mushrooming right inside the capital’s parks, some of which are found violating construction regulations and being rented away at dirt cheap prices.
Situated in downtown Ha Dong District, Nguyen Trai Garden, or Ha Dong Park, has long been lost to facilities and parking lot for guests at a Trung Nguyen café nearby.
The café, which used to be just a small bar with a few couples of chairs scattering at a small park corner, now spans on an area of hundreds of square meters and receives hundreds of customers every day.
Visitors to the Hanoi Zoo, or Thu Le Park, on Dao Tan Street are also bothered by the Pho Ngoi Restaurant, which was constructed inside the zoo, and a complex of café and tennis court built next to it.
Another invader is the Gio Moi Restaurant inside Thong Nhat Park on Le Duan Street, which has been destroying the park’s tranquil atmosphere for decades with loud noises and sounds from wedding parties celebrated there on a daily basis.
Wrong design, throwaway prices
According to Hanoi Zoo’s management board, the project to build a restaurant, café and tennis court inside the zoo was approved by the municipal authorities in 1997.
The Ba Dinh District People’s Committee later cancelled three constructions inside the park as they were not consistent with original designs.
As Tuoi Tre finds out, the two establishments that are still in operation - Pho Ngoi Restaurant and the tennis court - violate regulations regarding their heights and use purposes.
Moreover, although the management board claimed that the restaurant is there to serve the zoo visitors’ need, Tuoi Tre found out that most of the customers come from outside.
Meanwhile, Dinh Van Tien, director of Ha Dong Environment Public Service JSC, said the plot of land inside Nguyen Trai Park, where Trung Nguyen café is situated, used to be a dirty place with a public restroom.
He said the Ha Dong District People’s Committee has ordered his company to manage the land.
“We have leased the land to La Vong Corporation to open a café at the price of only VND10 million (US$500) a month,” he said, admitting that the price is extremely cheap given the prime position of the park.
“But we will adjust the rent every year,” he added.
For his part, Nguyen Xuan Hung, deputy director of Hanoi Parkco that manages the Gio Moi Restaurant, said his restaurant was also built inside the park under municipal authorities’ approval, and the restaurant operation causes no harm to the park and its visitors.
However, Nguyen Van Han, head of the operation department of Thong Nhat Park, said the dining activities of the restaurant inside the park will damage its quiet atmosphere.
“The restaurant’s business will surely distort the cultural meanings of the park,” he said.
VNN/VOV/VNS/ VNA/Tuoi Tre