Vietnam gangster arrested for killing man while collecting debt

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The Hanoi police Tuesday arrested a hired gun for allegedly killing a man he had been ordered to just threaten over a VND500 million (US$24,000) debt.

Duong Hoang Dung, 47, a notorious gangster from Ho Chi Minh City, was found hiding in Hanoi after carrying out the murder in Binh Duong Province near HCMC. The police also seized a gun from his house.

In May 2011 Dung was hired by Phan Tuan Thanh, 32, the director of a HCMC firm, to throw a scare into Phan Van Lan, 40, another business executive, of Binh Duong so that Lan would repay VND500 million he owed him.

Dung, who was paid VND30 million ($1,440) for this, took several men to Lan's house and destroyed furniture and beat up his wife.

Lan, who was returning home at the time, saw the hoodlums in his house and stopped by a neighbor's house to borrow a knife, which he told them was for self-defense. But as soon as Dung saw him with the knife, he shot him dead.

He fled the scene and left for Hanoi where he has been living with his girlfriend and a fake ID.

Dung used to be a police officer in HCMC, but was dismissed from service in 1998 for stealing a gun from a colleague.

He then got into the protection and debt recovery racket.

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