Bizarre South Korean kidnap-torture case unfolds in Vietnam

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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The unnamed Vietnamese suspect wanted by the police for the kidnapping and beating of a South Korean restauranteur. Photo credit: HCMC Police Department The unnamed Vietnamese suspect wanted by the police for the kidnapping and beating of a South Korean restauranteur. Photo credit: HCMC Police Department

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Police say a Korean fugitive and his Vietnamese accomplice kidnapped and tortured a South Korean restauranteur in Ho Chi Minh City last year because he was attempting to steal $150,000.
Investigators say Jang Hak-Bong, 49, and his unidentified Vietnamese accomplice are wanted for torturing 43-year-old Kim Heung-Sik, the owner of the Ngoi Sao Giai Tri  (Entertainment Start) restaurant on District 1’s Chu Manh Trinh Street, police said.
According to the results of a preliminary investigation, Jang and his unidentified accomplice were hired by Bong Byung-Gon to collect money he'd paid Kim for the restaurant, after Kim refused to either transfer ownership or return the money.
In November 2013, Bong paid Kim US$150,000 and both men signed a contract for the sale of the restaurant. The payment was made by Bong’s friend Shim Sung-Bo.

Jang Hak-Bong allegedly kidnapped and tortured a South Korean compatriot in Ho Chi Minh City.
However, Kim refused to conduct procedures to either transfer ownership of the restaurant or return the money, police said.
In March 2014, Bong and Shim asked Jang and his unidentified accomplice to intimidate Kim into returning the money by kidnapping and beating him.
At around 9 am on March 26, they went to Kim’s home in District 4 to beat him.
Later, the men took Kim to his restaurant and forced him to sign a promissory note for US$288,500.
On the following day, they took their victim home, locked him in his apartment and assigned people to watch his door, according to the police.
Kim managed to call his Vietnamese friend who notified the police.
The alleged kidnappers fled before police arrived to rescue the victim.
Bong and Shim turned themselves in to police on June 24 and confessed to their crime. They have spent the interim period under house arrest, pending the results of their investigation.
Police said Jang managed to return to South Korea on September 2.
 

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