One of three suspects in the fatal beating of a man police stopped for drunk driving in Ho Chi Minh City last week turned himself in on Wednesday, an anonymous source told Thanh Nien News.
The suspect, Nguyen Quoc Khanh, 21, remains in custody at the Tan Binh District's police station, where investigators are currently tracking down his two alleged accomplices.
Thanh Nien News previously reported how the victim, Nguyen Van Chin, told his brothers shortly before his death that he had been stopped by a group of uniformed police and was beaten unconscious by a group of unidentified men.
District investigators claim those allegations are incorrect and maintain that there was no link between the police who stopped Chin and seized his bike and the men who inflicted his fatal injuries.
Police say they have interviewed a witness who claims to have seen Chin arguing with two men driving alongside him just before he was stopped by a team of Tan Binh District traffic policemen.
The traffic cops claim to have seen Chin swerving and stopped him to check his blood-alcohol levels at 10:15 p.m. on June 25.
After finding Chin intoxicated, they say, police seized his 125cc motorbike.
The traffic team allegedly asked Chin to sign two written reports--one about his traffic violation and another about the seizure of his vehicle--but they say he refused to sign and walked away.
The police asked a witness to sign the reports and took Chin's motorbike to their station.
Chin allegedly returned to the scene 15 minutes later with his head in his hands.
The traffic police say they guessed that he was too drunk, so they called a taxi to bring him home.
At 4 a.m. on June 27, they received reports from Thong Nhat Hospital about his death at 1:30 a.m.
Forensic tests showed that Chin's death was caused by an intestinal rupture.
Relatives of the ill-fated man claim Chin told them he had argued with the traffic cops before being assaulted.
According to the deceased's two brothers, Chin said the cops refused to write a report after seizing his bike.
After he began to shout at them, his brothers related, a group of men in civilian clothes arrived and asked Chin to accompany them to pick up the report.
Chin reportedly told his brothers that he followed the unidentified men down the street where they beat him unconscious.
Police said that those accounts were inconsistent and clouded by alcohol, citing as example Chin's reported claim that he hailed a taxi to the hospital himself.
The taxi driver who took Chin to the hospital said he was stopped by a group of uniformed policemen and asked to drive Chin home.
Further investigations would be underway, the police said.
In July 2013, a Thanh Nien News investigative story quoted several people who came forward with stories of shady men that hung out near police checkpoints and attacked drivers who argue with traffic cops.
Given several instances of traffic police standing idly by as drivers who quarrel over their violations or attempt to film police activity are brutally assaulted by strangers, the story suspected a possible nexus between law enforcement and criminals.
The police have dismissed those allegations.
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 said last year that the police force was the most corrupt institution in Vietnam.