Police in the southern Binh Phuoc Province have confirmed that a 24-year-old man they detained became unconscious in their custody and died on the way to hospital on October 7.
Police said they would inform his relatives of the actual cause of his death once investigations were completed.
On October 8, relatives of Huynh Thanh Thang said they were informed by police from the province's Bu Dop District about his death, saying he had died at the Bu Dop General Hospital.
Thang was arrested on September 20 for accusations that he was involved in a theft.
His relatives said a friend owed him VND2 million and paid him with a statue instead. However, police arrested Thang and said he was in possession of stolen property, according to the relatives, who added that Thang had been arrested with three other people.
Police said Thang was unconscious on the evening of October 7 and they took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Thang used to have a heart disease and that could be the cause of his death, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted an unnamed police official as saying.
In another case, a resident of Tien Giang Province's Chau Thanh District has complained to relevant authorities that a local police official had severely beat his 15-year-old son, Pham Tan Bac, causing serious injuries.
Pham Van Bang of the district's Ban Long Commune said Nguyen Van Bon, vice chief communal police, stopped his son and beat him when he was on the way home from school on October 4.
Bac, a ninth grader at Ban Long High School, suffered injuries on his abdomen, legs and neck, he said.
Bon had also kicked the student into a canal twice and a pole near the bank cut his feet, the father claimed, adding that this was the second time the communal police had beat Bac.
Police officer Nguyen Van Hanh had previously beat him on the suspicion that he was a pickpocket. The accusations were later identified to be wrong and Hanh was then censured.
Nguyen Dinh Chi, chief of police in Ban Long Commune confirmed that Bon was wrong to beat Bac.
"Police beating people is wrong, especially when he was drunk. I myself asked Bon to come to the victim's house to apologize and support them with money for medicine. We will decide disciplinary measures against him soon," he said.