Murderers of five aloe wood hunters arrested

Two of the three men who killed five aloe wood hunters in a forest in the central province of Quang Tri were arrested on April 3.

Two murderers arrested by local border guard force and provincial police. (photo SGGP)

The local border guard force and provincial police jointly caught Ho Van Cong, a local man, when he went to the Khe Mui stream in the district to fetch water.

From Cong’s statement, the joint force also raided a rock cave in Ta Rung Mountain in Huong Viet Commune of Huong Hoa District and arrested Ho Van Thanh while he was sleeping inside.

Ho Van Cong and Ho Van Thanh initially said that in the middle of March they met each other in Huong Viet Commune and hatched a plan to kidnap members of a group of aloe wood hunters and kill all to cover any trace or clues. They asked a Laotian man to join in with the plan.

On March 23, they attacked a group of aloe wood hunters in a forest in the central province of Quang Binh. They beat the hunters to obtain a ransom of VND15 million (US$717) for each. The survivor, Hoang Van Ha, was released to bring in the ransom money.

In Cong and Thanh’s statement, they said they had planned earlier to shoot all hostages and kill Ha as soon as he returned to the jungle with the ransom money.

So far, the police are still searching for the last culprit, an armed Laotian.

Aloe wood is a very precious kind of wood, priced as high as $5,000-6,000 per kilogram. It is common for poor people in central Vietnam to go deep into the forest to seek their fortune through gathering aloe wood.

Colonel Tran Duc Viet, deputy director of police in Quang Tri Province, lauded the police investigating team and rewarded them with VND50 million ($2,390) for their good work.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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