Karaoke parlor employees sentenced for robbing Koreans

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A court in Hanoi handed sentences totaling 41 years to four karaoke parlor employees on Friday after it found them guilty of kidnapping and robbing four Korean nationals.

According to the verdict, the four victims visited a karaoke parlor on Giang Vo Street on December 19, 2009.

After one hour of singing, the men called for their bill.

Though the room lease and beverages cost only added up to VND1.4 million (US$67), Tran Minh Hai, an employee of the parlor, handed them a bill for VND8 million ($385) after recognizing they were foreigners.

The customers protested, saying that the bill failed to match up to posted prices.

Hai and three other employees (Hoang Quang Trung, Nguyen Van Dat, and Vu Duc Vien) subdued the foreigners and held them in captivity for about two hours.

After the Korean men gave the karaoke parlor's staff an additional $240 (they handed VND1.4 million earlier), the latter agreed to escort them back to their hotel.

The parlor's staff forced the foreigners to get into a taxi. Hai and Trung rode along.

The men were so frightened, one of the Koreans jumped out of the taxi while it was running. He died five days later due to serious injuries.

For his role as the plot's mastermind, Hai was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Trung and Dat were jailed for 12 and 10 years respectively. Meanwhile, Vien will spend three years behind bars.

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