Lead kidnapper of forest rangers surrenders in northern Vietnam

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A man who led a group of five illegal loggers in kidnapping forest rangers in the northern province of Quang Binh turned himself in Friday, Vietnam News Agency reported.


Four other members of the gang, all younger brothers of ring leader Tran Xuan Lanh, are still at large, according to the news website. One of the kidnappers was arrested earlier.  


VNA said the abduction happened Wednesday as Phan Van Sau led the forest ranger team on a patrol through a forest in On Village, Thuong Hoa Commune. The forest is part of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Minh Hoa District.


The had earlier found illegally cut wood and destroyed them as regulated, VNA reported.


At around 10 a.m. the loggers attacked them. Two of the forest rangers managed to escape, while three others were taken to a cave.



Loggers hold forest rangers for ransom in north Vietnam

Lanh and his brothers then forced Sau to return with two loggers to arrange for VND25 million (US$1,216), as ransom, threatening to kill the other loggers if he failed to do so.


The loggers fled on encountering local border guards and forest rangers who were on the way to rescue the hostages. After freeing Sau, the  force went on and rescued the others, VNA said, adding that one of the loggers then was arrested.


Investigations into the case are now underway, local authorities said.


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