'Nail' scatterers charged with wilful property damage

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Three men in the southern province of Binh Duong are being investigated for allegedly scattering "nails" along a highway, puncturing tires of passing vehicles, local prosecutors said Sunday.


Le Van Khoi, 18, Pham Tuan Anh, 19, and Le Xuan Chin, 24, are accused of "deliberately damaging property," according to the Thu Dau Mot Town's People's Procuracy department.


It is alleged that these youth scattered between 200-300 steel pieces cut into triangles a day along a one-kilometer-long street near the Quang Tien garage.


Khoi was caught red-handed on August 20 by the Phu Hoa Ward volunteer neighborhood watch group working to deal with social crimes. Police later arrested Anh and Chin at the Quang Tien garage.


Last week the office of Thu Dau Mot prosecutors also announced a probe into Nguyen Van Cong, 20, a worker at a repair shop run by Dinh Van Sang for similar acts.


Cong was also caught placing "nails" on the highway on August 20.


For several years, locals along Binh Duong Highway and commuters from other localities have complained about the trick deployed by repair shops.


The trick not only helped the shops extract exorbitant charges for repairs, but also caused injuries in some instances as motorbike riders fell on the sharp objects.


Nguyen Hung, a motorbike taxi driver, said he once saw a woman and her child fall and hit their heads on the street when her motorbike was caught by the "nails."


"Seeing the mother carry her child in her arms, rushing to hospital, many locals cursed those who live on such merciless trick," he said.


Nguyen Hoang Anh, a commuters from Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Duc District, also said he once saw motorbike riders fall over the "nails." 


"I've seen many heart-breaking accidents [caused by the nails], and many victims couldn't do any thing but stand up after falling down and accept their bad luck," said Nguyen Thi Lan, a grocer.

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