Hit men hired to kill debtor in Binh Duong

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Police in Binh Duong Province are searching for a company director accused of hiring assailants to shoot a man who owed him VND450 million (US$21,850).

Phan Tan Thanh, 32, director of the HNP Enterprise in the province's Thu Dau Mot Town, had fled his home in Ben Cat District when police surrounded the place on Saturday (May 7), a police source told Thanh Nien.

The victim, Phan Van Lan, 40, director of Lan Thao Enterprise, was shot dead on May 6 by a hit man from the northern port city of Hai Phong that Thanh had hired, the source said.

Witnesses said a group of people had come to office of the Lan Thao company in Thu Dau Mot Town's Dinh Hoa Ward at around 11 a.m. on the same day, but were chased away by the company  employees.

At around 3 p.m., Thanh and his father-in-law, also the director of a local company, and a group of around 15 men returned to the company in two cars and two motorbikes.

"Two gangsters went to the house and crashed the computers after Thao [Lan's wife] ran to my house," said a neighbor who wished to be known only as T. "Thanh and another man waited outside and yelled at his men to attack someone."

Nguyen Thanh Tam, head of Dinh Hoa Ward's Neighborhood No. 2, said that he and the ward police arrived at the scene but failed to disperse the group because the gangsters were too many and armed with knives.

"At around 6:30, Lan returned in a car and questioned the men on why they damaged his property. A man immediately shot at him with a pistol," he said.

The group then fled the scene, leaving behind a four-seater believed to belong to Thanh's father-in-law, he said.

Thao said that she and her husband had agreed to sell a land plot of 3,000 square meters (3,587 square yards) in Ben Cat District to Thanh in 2009 for VND3 billion ($145,666).

After depositing VND2 billion, Thanh decided not to buy the land and demanded his deposit back.

Thao and Lan paid him VND1.55 billion, saying they would pay the remaining VND450 million after they sold the land to a new buyer.

"However, Thanh did not agree and constantly pressured us to return the money. They had taken some gangsters to my house to threaten us more than a month ago," she said.

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