4 get jail terms for looting, resisting during May riots

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Hoang Van Xuyen, 31, has been sentenced to 20 months in jail on charge of "resisting officers on duty". Photo credit: VnExpress
A court in southern Vietnam on Thursday handed down jail terms to four people who exploited protests against China's sovereignty violations last month to steal property from foreign-invested companies and resisting on-duty police officers.
The People’s Court of Di An Town, Binh Duong Province, sentenced Hoang Van Xuyen, 31, to 20 months in prison on charge of “resisting public officers on duty.”
In another session, it sentenced Nguyen Van Tich to imprisonment for 5 months and Nguyen Phuoc Sang and Nguyen Van Diep for 4 months for stealing.
The court said Xuyen will also be tried later, along with several accomplices, for the charge of “misappropriating property."
On May 13, thousands of workers in Binh Duong, an industrial province next to Ho Chi Minh City, took to the street to protest China's deployment of a massive oil rig off Vietnam's coast early that month. The protests, however, were later exploited by criminal elements intent on looting and vandalism.
According to the indictment, Xuyen and four accomplices followed protesters to the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP 1) and stole two fridges and a number of iron bars at a factory there. They hid the items in a scrap metal warehouse.
Later, as Xuyen's group was driving to Song Than 2 Industrial Park for another looting attempt, they were stopped by two traffic policemen for having too many passengers in his truck.
Xuyen argued with the officers and urged his accomplices to drive the truck away. When an officer tried to stop the truck, Xuyen grabbed his collar and took his baton.
Xuyen used the baton to smash his own truck while shouting out lout that police "smashing truck of innocent people" to incite the crowd.
Before leaving, Xuyen hit another officer on the back. He only left when a group of police officers arrived at the scene.
Meanwhile, Tich and Sang took advantage of the chaotic protests to steal 19 items of motorbike spare parts worth a total VND2.6 million ($122) from a company on May 13.
Diep was found guilty of stealing two new bicycles worth VND4.5 million ($212).
The trio was arrested right after committing the crimes.
On May 22, a court in Binh Duong Province put two men arrested after the riots to trial. One was sentenced to three years for vandalizing and the another received one year for robbery.

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