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Celebrity musician has wrist slapped for traveling abroad without permission

By Ha Thu   September 1, 2022 | 05:00 am PT
The Vietnam National Academy of Music has decided to discipline musician Ho Hoai Anh for having taken a break to go abroad without permission.

According to Le Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Academy of Music where Ho Hoai Anh teaches the traditional dan bau (Vietnamese stringed instrument), based on its regulations, the academy had decided to discipline the musician for having taken a break to go abroad without permission, and would consider further measures pending the Spanish court ruling.

Musician Ho Hoai Anh. Photo courtesy of Ho Hoai Anh’s facebook page

Musician Ho Hoai Anh. Photo courtesy of Ho Hoai Anh’s facebook page

Tuan said since Ho Hoai Anh didn’t have too many classes, the academy didn’t take notice of its instructor travelling to Spain at the of June.

A spokesman of the Mallorca police department told VnExpress on July 1 that two Vietnamese men, 42 and 38 years old, had been arrested over sexual assault allegations. He refused to disclose their identities and occupations.

According to local media, the two Vietnamese male citizens were an actor and a musician.

On June 25, police on Mallorca Island allegedly arrested two famous Vietnamese artists based on allegations of rape made by a 17-year-old girl from the U.K.

According to the girl’s account, as reported by Spanish media, she made friends with the two men at a restaurant, and was later raped in one of the men’s rooms at Sant Elm Hotel.

On June 28, the two men were taken to court, then released on bail, but had their passports seized by Spanish authorities. The British girl also testified in court and was allowed to leave Mallorca the same day.

In Vietnam, local audiences were taken by storm by the story and made an educated guess about who the alleged culprits were.

People pointed out musician Ho Hoai Anh and actor Hong Dang, who had the same ages as the suspects, and at the time, were also travelling in Spain. Earlier, the artists had posted photos about their stay in Mallorca on their social media accounts, and for some reason, lost their cell phones and couldn’t contact their families and friends.

On July 5, in response to a whirlwind of public interest, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong confirmed that two Vietnamese artists were indeed being investigated about a sexual assault accusation in Spain.

Dong then said both men had been released on bail, and the case had been taken up by lawyers. One month later, he revealed the artists had returned to Vietnam.

According to music academy director Tuan, musician Ho Hoai Anh has written a report about the whole fiasco to his employer. Regarding the alleged scandal, Tuan said the academy would consider further measures pending the Spanish court ruling.

Between the two artists, Ho Hoai Anh is relatively better known among Vietnamese audiences for having composed many pop music hits. Born in 1979 into a family of musicians, he learned how to play the Vietnamese stringed instrument from his mother at a young age and first went abroad to perform at age 13.

Born in 1984, actor Hong Dang is known for his roles in numerous TV dramas.

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