Boy survives two days kidnapped in central Vietnam jungle

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Truong Thi Thuy holds her 7-year-old son Nguyen Van Dat in Quang Tri Province after the boy was rescued from two days in the captivity of kidnappers.

Police in central Vietnam on Thursday rescued a seven-year-old boy from kidnappers and returned him to his family in Quang Tri Province after two days in the jungle.

Phan Quang Thoai, 18, and his 20-year-old brother Phan Quang Thoan, had abducted the boy and demanded a VND200 million (US$9,600) ransom, which was then doubled, allegedly because the boys' parents had failed to fully pay the two accused for work they did on a forest plantation project in the past.

The police were led to the brothers after they concluded that the kidnappers were not natives and found out that the parents used to run a the forestation project in nearby Nghe An Province.

More than 20 police officers, including majors and lieutenant colonels, were deployed to track down the kidnappers and rescue the boy, named Nguyen Van Dat.

They first surrounded a hotel in the province where the kidnappers said they were keeping the boy Tuesday night.

But it turned out to be a lie, as the boy had been brought down south to Quang Nam Province, around 300 kilometers from Quang Tri.

"Thoan had put up a tent and kept Dat deep in the jungle, at a location that even locals could hardly find ways to," said a general in the team.

From left: Phan Quang Thoan, 20, and his brother Phan Quang Thoai, 18, at a police station on Thursday for kidnapping a boy from Quang Tri Province.

Thoai was arrested just outside the jungle and police made him persuade Thoan to come out. The boy was found in the tent with two knives near his bed.

General Tran Duc Viet, deputy director of the Quang Tri Police, said "The case is very complicated and we have been very worried about the boy's safety."  

Thoai admitted that he was the one making phone calls and threatening to sell the boy's heart to a VND2 billion (US$96,000) offer.

Truong Thi Thuy, the mother, said Thoai and Thoan used to work for the family. "I fed them and paid them properly."

But the brothers told a different story, saying they did not received full payment for their work.

Police are investigating the case further.

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