Hai Phong hosts brutal brawl involving foreigners, gov't official

Thanh Nien News

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Police in Hai Phong are investigating a brutal brawl that involved foreigners and a government official.
Police said the fight broke out in the lobby of the four-star Pearl River hotel at around midnight on October 11.
Though accounts of what happened that night differ, the fight involved two groups of people who had arrived hoping to book rooms.
One group included Tran Hoai Nam, the 30-year-old director of the Hai Phong Stationery Company, and his quality control director Raymond Liew (a Malaysian national) and an unidentified Hong Kong resident.
The other group included Tran Thi Hoang Mai, deputy head of the Hai Phong sports and tourism department, an unidentified number of Vietnamese nationals and two foreigners, the paper said.
During the four minutes of fighting, finger pointing and object hurling, no security personnel or hotel employee appeared to intervene--even after a group of assailants had pinned a man to the ground and continued to kick him.
Another video taken outside the hotel showed the groups leaving the scene.
A man in a green uniform, carrying an AK-47, arrived and quickly left after one of the most aggressive participants in the brawl brandished what appeared to be a business card.
Nam and the unidentified Hong Kong resident were rushed to hospital with hematoma around their eyes and the back of their heads.
Their faces were swollen and they suffered from a slight fever.
Nam said Liew returned to his home country of Malaysia out of fear.
On Thursday, Liew issued a statement to the Hai Phong Police and the Malaysian embassy in Vietnam.
He claimed Mai’s group began talking loudly when the hotel receptionist informed them that it was out of rooms.
He turned to repeat the news to the group, in English, and they pounced on him, he said.
Mai claims her foreign friends, including a US citizen, threw the first punch after Liew offended them.
She said Liew had teased the American man in her party for “hanging out with such an old and ugly woman.”
“When my friend explained that she was his wife, Liew kept laughing and teasing him. My friends had just drank some wine, so they could not control their tempers.”
Mai said she was talking with the receptionist and could only shout to ask them to stop.
She said two foreigners in her group also suffered “heavy injuries” and have since left Vietnam.
The Hai Phong City government has demanded Mai to report about the incident and cooperate with the police's investigation.
Video taken outside the hotel:

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