Five men were arrested for carrying out a spate of attacks on a popular restaurant called “Pho Hoa Pasteur” in District 3, HCMC – a venue known for its traditional Vietnamese dish, pho (beef noodle soup).
|Pham Phong Phu, 47, is being held in police custody for conducting a spate of attacks on popular restaurant Pho Hoa Pasteur in District 3, HCMC – PHOTO: POLICE|
The municipal police said in a press briefing on Monday that the gang leader, Pham Phong Phu, 47, and four of his accomplices, mostly in their late 20s, are being detained on charges of extortion, according to local media reports.
The gang was accused of having repeatedly thrown red paint and shrimp paste, among other things, at the restaurant during its opening hours and at night in July.
As a result, their menacing acts forced the restaurant owner, Pham Tung Linh, to suspend his business operations.
Police also took the restaurant owner’s brother-in-law, Tran Anh Tuan, 44, into custody on the charge of “forging the seals and documents of organizations and agencies for asset fraud.”
According to the police, the gang had pressured Linh into paying the overdue debts of his brother-in-law.
Gang leader Phu and Tuan were earlier partners in the trading of cell phones, automobiles and some real estate. During this time, Tuan suffered heavy losses and the other helped pay debts on his behalf.
Tuan and his wife, who is Linh’s younger sister, have not been heard from since July 11, days after telling other family members they were being hunted by debt collectors over a debt of VND2.2 billion (US$95,000).
Founded in the late 1960s, Pho Hoa Pasteur is one of the most popular pho restaurants in the city, especially among foreign visitors. SGT