Police in the southern province of Binh Phuoc have detained an 18-year-old schoolboy for allegedly kidnapping a neighbor's child for ransom in an attempt to pay his gambling debts.
Nguyen Hong Phong, an 11th grader, told police that he owed VND53 million (US$2,535) from card games and billiard bets, which motivated him to kidnap Ngo Xuan Quang, 7, from his local commune after being urged to come up with the money quickly.
Phong drove the boy on Thursday evening to a hotel 16 kilometers away, tied him up and called his family threatening to kill him unless they brought VND200 million.
The family informed the police, who also received a call from the hotel's manager who heard the boy crying. The boy was rescued the next morning when Phong went out for breakfast.
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