Party official slain, mother and daughter in critical condition

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A district Party official was stabbed to death and two women were seriously injured in a grizzly murder plot that unfolded early this week in Ho Chi Minh City.

Police say suspects have confessed to the crime, which, they claim, stemmed from a work-related grudge.

The murder took place around noon on Monday (September 20) at the house of 51-year-old Bui Ngo Thi My, head of Phu Nhuan District's Natural Resources and Environment Agency. My and her 24-year-old daughter were seriously injured. Dang Thi Thu Hong, 47, vice secrectary of the Phu Nhuan Party Unit died from fatal stab wounds.

Nguyen Trong Nhan, 30, and Luong Hoai Sang, 20, were caught red-handed in the house.

Nhan, an employee at an online gaming company and Sang, a motorbike parking attendant at the Nguyen Tri Phuong Apartments in District 10, had planned to force My to let Nhan's wife off the hook for public corruption.

The municipal police held a press briefing on Tuesday to announce their initial investigation findings. On Wednesday they asked that prosecutors charge both men with murder.

(L-R) The accused murderers, 30-year-old Nguyen Trong Nhan, employee of an online game company, and 20-year-old Luong Hoai Sang

According to investigators, Nhan asked Sang to accompany him to My's house to ask her to spare his wife, 28-year-old Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, from punishments from official censure. Hien, who supervises a division of land surveyors and housing inspectors, had illegally collected money from some households, police say.

When Nhan heard of his spouse's troubles, he decided to take matters into his own hands, police say.

Nhan prepared a taser, a knife and a pair of gloves and told Sang to accompany him and attack My if she refused to spare his wife.

On Monday, they waited near My's house in an alley located off Huynh Van Banh Street until the official arrived home during the noon break. When they encountered her, she allowed them to enter her home. Once inside My refused their demands and the pair launched their attack.

Sang didn't know how to use the taser and electrocuted himself, while Nhan tried to suffocate My before hitting her with a tennis racket.

My's daughter, Huong, heard her mother's cry for help and came downstairs only to b e struck by Nhan.

While the assault was in progress, Party official Hong arrived to visit the home for lunch. Nhan stabbed Hong to death, on the spot. Police say he then turned

the knife on mother and daughter before some militiamen stationed nearby heard their cries for help.

Around 100 police and militiamen were mobilized to the site.

While accounts on what happened next differ, one unnamed source told Thanh Nien that Nhan and Sang hid in a pair of upstairs rooms until authorities found them and placed them under arrest.

My and her daughter both sustained life-threatening injuries to their necks and were taken to Cho Ray Hospital for emergency treatment. Their conditions have shown signs of progress, doctors say.

Colonel Phan Anh Minh, head of the municipal investigation unit, said they would continue to consider the precise motives behind Sang and Nhan's deadly assault.

"So far, no apparent motive exists aside from Nhan's fear that his wife would be censured," he said. "Hong's official position does not appear to be a motivating factor."

Hong is a senior official at Phu Nhuan District Party Unit and the city Party Unit is about to hold a congress this year.

Col. Minh also said there had been no disciplinary measures taken against Hien, My had only detected her indiscretion and instructed her to prepare a report.

Both of the arrestees have clean records and Col. Minh rejected the notion that this murder may have been a robbery-gone-wrong. Nhan's in-laws also work at the HCMC Party Unit's office.

"Hong arrived there accidentally. It seems that she had met Nhan when she was working as chairwoman of Ward 15's People's Committee [in Phu Nhuan District] and Nhan killed her to conceal his crimes," he said.

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