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South Korean businessman suffocates, dismembers compatriot over unpaid debt

By Quoc Thang   November 29, 2020 | 11:24 pm PT
South Korean businessman suffocates, dismembers compatriot over unpaid debt
Jeong In Cheol is held at a police station in HCMC for allegedly murdering a compatriot over an unpaid debt, November 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang.
Angered by an unbalanced account, a South Korean man gruesomely murdered a fellow countryman, hiding his severed body parts inside a suitcase in HCMC.

Jeong In Cheol, 35, director of Creata Vietnam Company, based in HCMC’s District 7 and specializing in marketing solutions for South Korean products, is being held on charges of murder and robbery.

Cheol was arrested Saturday afternoon after the dismembered body of his 33-year-old South Korean friend An Tong Duk was found inside the company's headquarters in a four-story house in District 7’s Him Lam residential area, home to a large expat community.

The culprit told investigators Duk had invested VND1.8 billion ($77,673) in his company but that business proved unfavorable.

Two weeks ago, Cheol lent Duk VND2.7 billion with interest, which Duk failed to repay in the required two days, asking to have his previous investment deducted from the total amount instead.

Cheol said he had borrowed the money from his family to help Duk. In debt, the former had devised a plan to kill his debtor should the latter refuse to repay the sum.

On November 24, Cheol went to a supermarket to buy a saw, locking pliers, scissors, plastic bags, and rubber gloves in order to not leave fingerprints. The next day, he bought 10 sleeping pills that he blended into powder. He then met Duk at a coffee shop to discuss "debt repayment," though the conversation did not end on a positive note.

After hours on November 26, Cheol drove Duk to the company’s headquarters where he had invited the latter for a beer, spiked with the sleeping pills. When Duk was unconscious, Cheol stripped two bracelets off his arms, which he sold the next morning for VND80 million.

For fear Duk would wake up and scream, Cheol shoved nine rubber gloves down his throat.

Discovering Duk had stopped breathing shortly after, Cheol dragged him down to the first floor where he commenced dismembering the victim's body, placing the parts in plastic bags hid on the terrace.

The afternoon of the same day, Cheol requested his staff to buy a suitcase and some plastic bags as well as bandages to transport the body parts to another location and destroy the evidence. However, he fled before completing the task.

The murder was discovered Friday night by the landlord of the Him Lam house.

The landlord had come to check his property after Cheol abruptly announced he would stop renting the house. Inside a toilet, the landlord had found a blood stained pink suitcase and next to it, a saw and locking pliers. Inside the suitcase was a black plastic bag containing body parts.

Police also found three other plastic bags with body parts on the third floor of the building.

Officers said the victim had a head injury and ascribed the cause of death to suffocation.

Nearly 11,000 South Koreans live in District 7, mainly in Phu My Hung. According to the HCMC Vietnam - Korea Friendship Association, nearly 90,000 South Koreans reside in the southern city at present.

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