Vietnamese held captive by debtors hangs himself

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A Hanoi man who had borrowed money from a couple was found hanged in their house where he had been locked up for months despite handing them ownership of his house.

News website Dan Tri quoted police as saying that Do Manh Hoan, 52, had been held captive by Truong Kim Nhung and her husband Vu Minh Tri in their house on Thai Ha since May last year.

He was found dead on January 17 with a bruise around his eye and a scratch on his wrist.

It is suspected he was frequently beaten by the couple, both 36.

Nhung told the police that Hoan had borrowed VND460 million (US$22,000) from her in 2010 at an interest of 30 percent a month.

But since he lost money in his business, Hoan was unable to pay even the interest, causing the debt to more than triple to VND1.5 billion within several months, and Hoan had to write an IOU since Nhung had threatened to send gangsters to recover the money.

In May 2011, Nhung and her husband brought Hoan to their house and forced him to transfer the title of his house to them.

He was held at Nhung's house since then and never allowed to go out alone.

Nhung later sold his house for VND1.72 billion.

But the couple did not release him, saying he still owed them money.

They have been arrested for illegally keeping a person in custody.

They are likely to be investigated for appropriating another person's property and loan-sharking.

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