Man gets 7 years for blackmailing beverage firm with fly in bottle

By Hoang Phuong, Thanh Nien News

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Vo Van Minh stands the trial in Tien Giang Province. Photo: Hoang Phuong Vo Van Minh stands the trial in Tien Giang Province. Photo: Hoang Phuong

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A Tien Giang Province court Friday sentenced a 35-year-old man to seven years in prison for “extortion” after trying to blackmail a beverage company by claiming he had found a fly in one of their energy drink bottles.

Vo Van Minh, who was arrested in January, and his sister Vo Thi Thao had a shop in the province’s Cai Be District selling noodles and drinks.

On December 3 last year he reportedly found a fly inside a bottle of Number One produced by Tan Hiep Phat Company.

Two days later he phoned the company and demanded VND1 billion (US$44,800) to keep quiet about it.

He agreed to take VND500 million after meeting company representative several times.

But when he received the money from the company on January 27, he was arrested after the company earlier complained to the police.

According to the indictment, the Ho Chi Minh City Criminal Science Institute found that the bottle had been opened and recapped.

Minh pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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