A court in the central province of Phu Yen on Monday sentenced a 20-year-old man to 18 years in prison for kidnapping a girl and demanded a ransom of VND1 billion (US$45,250) last year.
Luong Anh Hao confessed that he and his accomplice Nguyen Tan Dung, 16, were watching the 4-year-old girl at Dung's house on August 6, 2015. Her brother, a friend of Dung's, had brought her there during a visit.
When the brother left to get food for his sister, Hao and Dung came up with a kidnapping scheme and lured the girl out of the house.
Hao took the little girl to a local sugar cane field. When the brother returned, Dung told him that the girl had left on her own.
At the field, Hao tied up the girl and placed tape over her mouth. He called the girl's mother and sent a text message to her, demanding a ransom of VND1 billion.
The girl however successfully freed herself and found her way home safely.
The duo was arrested a day later. They admitted to the crime, saying they kidnapped the girl because her parents had a lot of money.
They had earlier planned to kidnap her at her kindergarten two months earlier.
Dung was handed a seven-year jail sentence on Monday.
The field where Hao held a 4-year-old girl hostage on August 6, 2015. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre