Vietnam man gets 19 years for extortion, threat to kill bank chief

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A Hanoi court Wednesday handed a 19-year jail term to a man for extorting VND1 billion (US$47,800) from a banker by threatening to kill him, adding to a nine-year sentence he had received for fraud.

Nguyen Hoang Long, 30, made the threat in 2009 after managing to enter the office of Ho Tung Anh, the chairman of Techcombank, on Ba Trieu Street by texting that he had some CDs purporting to Anh.

He had brought a bag and threatened to explode one kilogram of TNT that was inside unless Anh paid him the VND1 billion.

He showed a text message on his cell phone which said a person had hired him to kill Anh for VND500 million.

He said he would spare Anh if he paid VND1 billion and reveal the name of the person who had hired him for another VND1 billion.

Meanwhile he was wanted by the police in his hometown in Thanh Hoa Province, around 200 kilometers away, for cheating people with promises about education opportunities in Singapore and extracting money.

Anh gave VND500 million as an advance payment, and Long used VND300 million from it to repay his victims. But he gave himself up last August and was sentenced by a Thanh Hoa court for nine and a half years.

Long is a university graduate from Singapore who had set up a losing company.

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