A court in the southern province of Dong Nai sentenced 26 people to between 12 and 28 months in jail for vandalizing foreign companies during anti-China riots that broke out last May.
The Nhon Trach District People’s Court convicted nine defendants on Friday of “causing a public nuisance." Seventeen others were found guilty of the same charge a day earlier.
On May 13-14, many workers in Dong Nai, an industrial province next to Ho Chi Minh City, took to the street to protest China's illegal deployment of a mobile oil rig in Vietnamese waters earlier that month.
The peaceful demonstrations, however, were later exploited by criminal elements intent on looting and vandalizing foreign-owned factories and offices in the province’s industrial parks.
According to the indictment, a group of nine young men used iron bars and bamboo sticks to damage factories owned by Texhong Textile Co. of Hong Kong and Taiwanese-owned Minh Anh Co. in the Nhon Trach Industrial Park on May 13.
The judges sentenced Huynh Van Sang, Le Van Sang, Huynh Van Tri, Ong Binh Luan, Tran Huu Tho, Nguyen Minh Luan, Nguyen Van Hoai Thuong, Tran Van Tung and Nguyen Thanh Phong each to one year in jail for “causing public nuisance."
This group will also be tried for property damage after the buildings are evaluated, the judges said Friday.
On Thursday, the Nhon Trach court handed down jail terms to 17 defendants for “causing public nuisance."
Huynh Hong An, Do Van Phuong, and Luu Van Phung got 28 months each. Fourteen others were sentenced to between 12 and 24 months.
That group of defendants was found guilty of inciting a riot in Nhon Trach District on May 14, according to the verdict.
After police arrested the vandals the group demanded their release, the verdict said.
The two trials were the most recent proceedings related to the May riots that broke out in several provinces, including Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Ha Tinh, following China's incursion into Vietnamese waters.