Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested a former traffic cop for allegedly calling in thugs to assault a traffic violator for refusing to sign a citation, a police source said Saturday.
The beating ultimately resulted in the death of the drunk driver.
Before his arrest, former Senior Lieutenant Pham Sy Hoai Nhu of the Tan Binh District Traffic Police had already been dismissed in September pending an investigation into the death of Nguyen Van Chin, 44, according to the source.
In July, police arrested three civilians, Nguyen Minh Trung, 23, Ngo Thanh Vuong, 18 and Pham Thanh Kim Hanh, 17, for their alleged role in the case.
Police say that Nhu had headed a checkpoint set up on the corner of Truong Chinh and Tan Ky Tan Quy streets to catch for drunk drivers on the evening of June 25.
At around 10:15 pm, they pulled over a swerving Chin and prepared a report on his violation. Chin refused to sign the document and a quarrel broke out between him and the policemen during which he walked away.
Investigators said Nhu called Trung to the site to resolve the case.
Trung allegedly brought Vuong and Hanh with him. Police allege the trio lured Chin to an empty site and beat him unconscious.
After regaining consciousness, Chin struggled back to the street corner where a traffic officer hailed a taxi to take him home. Chin later asked the cabbie to take him to Thong Nhat Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at 1:30 am on June 27.
Forensic tests showed that Chin's death was caused by a ruptured spleen.
Shortly before his death, Chin told his brothers that he had been stopped by a group of uniformed police and was then beaten unconscious by a group of unidentified men.
In July 2013, a Thanh Nien News's investigative story quoted several people who came forward with stories of shady men that hung out near police checkpoints and attacked drivers who argue with traffic cops.
Given several instances of traffic police standing idly by as drivers who quarrel over their violations or attempt to film police activity are brutally assaulted by strangers, the story suspected a possible nexus between law enforcement and criminals.
The police have dismissed those allegations.
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 said last year that the police force was the most corrupt institution in Vietnam.