Vietnamese province files criminal charges against 259 rioters

By Do Truong, Thanh Nien News

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People arrested for accusations of involving in a riot on May 13 in Binh Duong Province. Photo: Do Truong
Binh Duong police said 259 people are in police custody for criminal investigations into their role in riots last week that damaged assets of companies based in local industrial zones. 
Another 276 people were fined for participating in the violent incidents, a provincial police department source told Thanh Nien News on May 22.
All of them were arrested following the riots on May 13-14 in the province, in which hundreds of factories were vandalized, looted, 15 of which were set ablaze.
Police said violations ranged from disturbing public order, opposing officers on duty, robbery, destroying properties, misappropriating properties, and consuming stolen properties.
Among people facing criminal charges is an overseas Vietnamese from the US, the source said without revealing the name.
On the morning of May 13, around 800 workers in Di An Town and 5,000 workers of Giay Thong Dung Company in Thuan An Town staged a demonstration in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP 1) in Thuan An.
The workers waved banners and Vietnamese national flags to protest China’s deployment of a giant drilling rig in Vietnam’s territorial waters early this month.
The demonstration began peacefully but turned violent at noon when many protesters were incited to destroy business properties. Some took advantage of the chaos to loot, set warehouses on fire and attack security guards.
On May 14, Binh Duong Province People’s Committee said hundreds of companies, mostly Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean-invested ones, had been vandalized. 
Similar riots have occurred in the nearby Dong Nai Province and at a company in Vung Ang Economic Zone in central Vietnam.
Following the incident, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has officially asked cities and provinces to compensate foreign-invested companies damaged in the riots, ensuring their continued operation, offering up to two years in tax extensions and reducing export and import taxes for vandalized companies.
Dung also ordered customs offices to clear products still pending customs clearance due to unpaid taxes and local governments to reduce or exempt the land rent for affected companies.

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