Vietnamese arrested after 3rd mysterious death on his property

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A man in Vietnam southernmost province of Ca Mau has been detained after three people including two brothers have died mysteriously on his property since 2008.

News website VietNamNet said in a Tuesday report that Cao Van Lien was arrested this week as part of investigations into the recent death of 27-year-old Pham Minh Hieu, his older brother Pham Minh Phung in 2009 and Lien's adopted daughter Ut in 2008.

Hieu's deformed body was found hung from a tree at Lien's shrimp farm on June 12. Police said the man had been dead for at least 30 days.

Phung was found hanging at Lien's goat cage while Ut is believed to have committed suicide at age 16.

Hieu, Phung, and their eldest brother Pham Minh Vuong started working at the farm when Hieu was 12, according to their mother, Truong Thu Hoai.

Vuong left the farm after Phung's death.

Hoai said that initially, only her oldest son was paid in cash. The others were merely offered room and board because they were so young and could only help with trivial tasks.

More recently, Hieu had been paid VND800,000 (US$40) per month.

People in the neighborhood said several days before Phung died, they saw him with many bruises on the face and body, possibly from beatings, but Lien forced him to continue working regardless.

Neighbors said they rarely step foot onto Lien's property, a 20 hectare lot surrounded by electric wires and guarded by dogs Lien said were there to keep thieves away.

Investigations found a handgun, two hunting guns, two katanas and a falchion in his house.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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