China arrests suspects in the murder of Vietnamese prominent tea trader

By Bui Hong Nhung, Quoc Thang, Hoang TruongMarch 30, 2016 | 02:19 am PT
A well-known tea business woman was allegedly killed by two Taiwaneses in China over an unpaid debt as one of the two suspects testified with Taiwan authorities.

Ha Thuy Linh. Photo: NLD

Ha Thuy Linh, 45, left Vietnam on September 20 on a trip to negotiate a deal for her tea trading business. Three days later she was dead.

Chinese police, in cooperation with Taiwan police caught Hoang, 63 and Tran, 42, both Taiwan nationals on March 23. They denied all allegations until the police found Vietnamese banknotes, Linh’s watch and other evidence at Hoang’s house.

Security cameras at Guangdon’s airport show that the suspects were present at the airport upon Linh’s arrival. Hoang, is also seen talking to Linh and carrying her luggage.

According to, Hoang testified with Taiwan authorities that Linh owed him money and the two could not settle the debt. Hoang, together with his 42-year-old accomplice, told Linh to come to China to negotiate a tea deal.

On September 20, 2015, the suspects hired a taxi to pick Linh up at the airport. Hoang then gave Linh a water bottle, which contained anaesthetics, and told her that was brain tonic. When Linh lost control, Hoang and his accomplice left the victim in the mountains. Locals found her called for help the next day.

Linh testified with Chinese police that she became unconcious only a few minutes after drinking the water bottle. When she woke up, her underwear and luggage were missing, and she was in pain.

After giving her statement to the police, she was taken back to the hotel. However, her conditions worsened and she died on the morning of September 22 after having been admitted to hospital.

Director of Vietnam's criminal investigation department, Ho Sy Tien, told VnExpress yesterday that: "The Ministry of Public Security is waiting for an official request from China to support the investigation."

Linh and her husband, a Taiwanese businessman, founded Haiyil Tea Company in 2002. After they divorced in 2008, she founded Ha Linh Limited Liability Company.

Her business is the largest tea company in Lam Dong, a province in Vietnam's Central Highlands, with more than 200 hectares of tea. The company exports tea products to Taiwan and China.

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