Canadian men behind Kong director's assault have left Vietnam: police

By Vy Tuong   July 12, 2018 | 04:19 am PT
Canadian men behind Kong director's assault have left Vietnam: police
Director of the movie 'Kong: Skull Island'.
The two Vietnamese Canadians have allegedly avoided arrest by returning to Canada under other identities.

Ho Chi Minh City police have been encountering difficulties apprehending the men that assaulted the director of the movie 'Kong: Skull Island' at a Saigon bar last September.

Shortly after the incident, police identified American director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' assailants as a group of Vietnamese Canadian gangsters headed by Kenny Cuong and Billy Tran, a source told VnExpress on Thursday. Both men are involved in multiple drug crimes abroad, according to records obtained by the police.

"The group left the scene shortly after the fight with the victim. Police have been working hard to apprehend them but most of the suspects had used other identities to return to Canada," the source said. Canada currently has no extradition treaty with Vietnam.

In an account of the event published on foreign media, Vogt-Roberts recounted being attacked at the nightclub XOXO in District 1 in the early morning on September 9, 2017 while he was talking to a Vietnamese woman who had rejected the Canadian gangsters earlier.

During the assault, the gangsters reportedly punched, kicked Vogt-Roberts and smashed his head with a liquor bottle, as well as beat up other club-goers and damaged the place before leaving.

The attack resulted in the Kong director being rushed to the Hanoi French Hospital with a fractured skull, contusions, hemorrhaging, and a cerebral air pocket.

After the attack, Vogt-Roberts sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy regarding the incident. District 1's police were only informed of the case the following day, and by the time a police investigation was launched, all suspects had already gone into hiding.

The director was appointed Vietnam's tourism ambassador, a title which will be renewed after three years, after his movie “Kong: Skull Island” hit Vietnamese theaters in March 2017.

Many scenes in the movie were filmed in Vietnam’s northern province of Ninh Binh and the world-renowned Ha Long Bay, explaining why it was such a hit in the country, where it grossed VND150 billion ($6.6 million) in two weeks and became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

Thanks to the movie and his tourism ambassador title, Vogt-Roberts has earned himself a reputation among Vietnamese people.

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