A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday sentenced a former police officer to two and a half years in jail for threatening to kill members of four families in an attempt to extort gold from them.
Nguyen Huu Vuong, 28, was dismissed last year soon after he was caught red-handed taking some gold from one of his victims in September.
According to the indictment, Vuong sent four letters to the families in District 12, saying that they had to bring him some gold or they would be shot dead.
All of the families promptly reported him to police.
One of the victims called Vuong later, saying that his family could not afford to pay 10 taels of gold (around US$16,000).
Vuong agreed to take VND70 million ($3,500).
When he arrived to collect the money, he was arrested by local police.
At the court on Friday, he said he needed money to pay a huge debt for his family.