A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday sentenced a man to one year in prison for staging bomb hoaxes around the city and Hanoi in an attempt to promote his company, which sells false eyelashes and eyelash curlers.
Hoang Hai Trai, 28, former director of Beauty Lashes Co. Ltd., was convicted of "terrorism" by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City.
According to the indictment, in April last year, Trai asked his cousin in Hanoi to open a Facebook page that was self-described as being run by a terrorist group and often filled with posts about "terrorist missions."
He planned to have his cousin and another three people place carton boxes around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Filled with Arabic texts outside, each small box carried a timer and some of his products inside.
Trai planned to make posts introducing the products and his company on the Facebook page after the hoax bombs were discovered. He anticipated that his tactic would scare people and thus creating a great deal of public and media attention, according to prosecutors.
On May 18, they executed the plan, placing the boxes in busy areas in Hanoi and HCMC.
The suspicious looking boxes with tick-tock sounds caught the attention of passers-by who alerted local authorities.
In HCMC alone, 100 police officers were sent to handle the hoax bomb.
Trai was arrested three days later. Police have dropped charges against his cousin and other accomplices.