HCMC man gets 16 years for killing dog thief

By Binh Nguyen   December 7, 2022 | 05:56 pm PT
HCMC man gets 16 years for killing dog thief
Lai Van Tho at the HCMC People's Court for killing a dog thief, December 7, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Binh Nguyen
A HCMC man was sentenced to 16 years in prison under murder charge Wednesday for killing a dog thief.

On September 7 last year Lai Van Tho, 66, suspected Vo Thanh Trung and his group of friends had stolen his family's dog and confronted the group along with his two sons.

When Trung's group began to brandish tasers and knives, Tho and his sons picked up bamboo sticks and pickaxes in response. Trung's gang then tried to flee and jumped into a canal in Binh Chanh District.

Trung swam to the other side, but more people were waiting there for him and so he turned around. Tho, who was standing on the bank, repeatedly hit him on the head with a bamboo stick and did not allow him to get out of the water.

Trung drowned and died.

At the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court, Tho admitted to hitting Trung but said he did not intend to kill him.

Vietnam consumes an estimated five million dogs a year, second only to China's 20 million, the Asia Canine Protection Alliance said in 2016. Many dogs served at restaurants are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.

Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam unless the stolen animals are valued at more than VND2 million ($86).

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