A court in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on Friday sentenced a teenage waitress to 12 years in prison after enlisting several co-workers to kidnap and hold a 14-year-old girl for ransom in April.
The sentence for Nguyen Thi Kim Chi, 17, was considered lenient because she's a minor, according to the sentencing memorandum read at the Can Tho People's Court.
Chi was found guilty of “robbery” and “kidnapping in order to extract property."
Her three subordinates were convicted of the same crimes.
They include: 43-year-old Nguyen Phu Hai, who got 16 years, 26-year-old Thai Long Ho, who got 14 years and Truong Huu Luan, 23, who got ten years.
Among those involved, Nguyen Thanh Thang was sentenced to six and a half years for kidnapping and fencing stolen property; Tran Huu Gin got two years' probation for failing to report a felony.
The court said Chi knew that her neighbor, 38-year-old Nguyen Thi Diem Thuy, was rich and decided to kidnap her daughter Nguyen Han Duy.
Chi hired a car to take her accomplices, all fellow employees at a Ho Chi Minh City restaurant, to her hometown of Can Tho to follow Thuy and her daughter.
On April 22, while Duy’s uncle Nguyen Van Khanh was driving Duy to school, the crew attacked and kidnapped their victim.
On their way back to HCMC with their hostage, they used Khanh’s phone to call Thuy and demand VND1 billion (US$47,230) in ransom.
In HCMC, Ho and Luan rented a hotel room in which to hold Duy.
Chi and Hai sold her earrings for VND1.6 million; Ho reportedly gave Thang a cellphone stolen from the victim’s uncle.
After several negotiation with Thuy, they agreed to accept VND300 million.
On April 23, Can Tho police raided the hotel, rescuing Duy and arresting the gang.