Prosecutors have filed charges against a Hanoi doctor who allegedly dumped the body of a patient who died in his private beauty clinic following a surgery into a river.
Nguyen Manh Tuong, 41, who runs Cat Tuong cosmetic surgery clinic, faces charges of “defiling a corpse” and “violating regulations related to medical treatment,” while Dao Quang Khanh, 18, a security guard at the clinic, is charged with “defiling a corpse” and “robbery.”
On October 19 last year Le Thi Thanh Huyen, 39, came to the clinic for breast enlargement. Tuong performed the surgery, extracting fat from her stomach and pumping it into her breasts.
The surgery finished at 4 p.m. Thirty minutes later Huyen began to develop convulsions and foamed at the mouth, and Tuong gave her an anesthetic.
Thinking she was alright, he went out to meet some friends.
At around 5:45 he got a phone call from his staff saying Huyen had turned blue and had no blood pressure.
He told them to give her heart-resuscitation and anti-allergy shots and put her on a breathing machine.
Tuong then called Nguyen Quang Thanh, his colleague at Bach Mai Hospital, and told him to go to the clinic to attend to Huyen.
But by the time Tuong returned to the clinic, Huyen’s heart had stopped beating. He and Thanh tried to revive her but to no avail.
He then told his staff to hide Huyen's files and throw away things related to the surgery.
At 11:30 p.m. he and a few of the staff took her body in his car to Buu Dien Hospital.
Khanh, the guard, drove Huyen’s motorbike with her bag in it behind the car. Nguyen Thi Hang, Tuong’s wife, accompanied him.
When Tuong arrived at the hospital gate, it was crowded and Huyen’s body had turned stiff, so he did not enter.
Khanh told him not to take the body inside but to instead dump it in a river. Tuong agreed.
When they drove to Co Linh Street in Long Bien District, Khanh left the bike and bag on the sidewalk and got into the car, which headed for Thanh Tri Bridge.
Hang repeatedly pleaded with Tuong not to throw away the body, but he continued to drive.
When he arrived at the bridge, he and Khanh carried the body out and threw it into the Hong (Red) River.
After Huyen went missing, her husband found a receipt from the clinic and took it to the police.
They arrested Tuong and Khanh and then discovered that the latter had also stolen Huyen’s iPhone after she died.
According to the indictment, Khanh instigated Tuong into dumping Huyen’s body.
Despite strenuous efforts by Huyen’s family, her body has yet to be found.
Prosecutors said Tuong’s staff who took part in the surgery have not been charged because he caused the death unintentionally and so they were not "accomplices."
According to the city Department of Health, Tuong's clinic is not licensed for cosmetic surgery.
Authorities at the state-owned Bach Mai Hospital, where Tuong has worked for more than five years, said they did not know he had a private clinic.
The clinic had 20 employees and was run by Tuong along with his wife, also a doctor at the state-owned E Hospital.
Tuong specializes in traumatology and orthopedics.
According to an official from the Ho Chi Minh City Cosmetic Surgery Association, the technique of using fat from one's body to enlarge breasts is prohibited in Vietnam.
Huyen’s death has prompted authorities to inspect all clinics offering cosmetic surgery in the country.