People visit police stations to report a crime, but 31-year-old Ho Quy Ve was looking for something slightly different.
He wanted permission to commit a crime.
He also tried his best to help the police deal with his request, supplying them with the motive for the crime.
Ve says he lodged an application with the police station in My Quy Tay Commune last Tuesday, explaining that he wanted to avenge the beating he received last March at the hands of Tran Van Hai, Bui Van An and Hai's 68-year-old stepfather, Le Van Nguyen, who happened to be around and brought a metal pipe into action. (The commune police chief has denied receiving such an application.)
According to Ve, a xe om (motorbike taxi driver), he was only plying his trade when he stopped his bike in front of Hai's car to ask if his service was needed. Instead of appreciating his offer, he was beaten up badly by the prospective customers.
With the help of two other locals, Ve was able to make his escape, but not before suffering severe injuries that cost him a whopping US$1, 100 in medical bills. He had to borrow money to settle them.
Ve said it has been more than six months since he filed a complaint against his assailants, but nobody seemed interested in delivering justice, leaving him angry and frustrated.
"I am very upset. That's why I am requesting the police's permission to fight those who attacked me," he said.
In his defence, Hai, one of the assailants, said: "He stopped in front of my car and started irritating me so I beat him up."
The two locals who helped Ve escape the beating have said they saw the whole altercation and are willing to testify, but for some mysterious reason, the police have never questioned them.
Will Ve get justice? Will his assailants be punished, one way or the other? And what about the police? Will they be punished for their inaction?
Or does another twist in the tale await us?
Hoist with their own petard
Having a phone snatched from you by thieves as you are talking into it is not all that unusual a happening in HCM City, going by the frequent news reports of such incidents.
However, one woman who this happened to last Sunday had to suffer having salt rubbed into her wound. The couple who snatched the phone, perhaps euphoric over a successful operation, decided to mock their victim by laughing and waving the phone at her from what they thought was a safe distance.
Provoked beyond toleration, the furious victim began yelling out loud and chasing the thieves, stepping on the accelerator of her motorbike. The chase continued for over four kilometers, but in the end, with the assistance of local police, the phone was retrieved.
The deputy chief of the Tan Phu Hung Commune police station said he was informed of a woman chasing after a couple on motorbike yelling "Thieves, Thieves!"
He quickly set up a patrol force and barriers. The thieves were nabbed when they tried to turn around and flee when they saw the police.
A drug bust that went bust
Tipped off about a place producing crystal meth, Hai Phong Police carried out a raid last month on Dao Anh Ng's house and confiscated 5, 000 pills of the drug that is favored by many young people for its hallucinations-inducing properties.
But this time, it was the police that were left wondering if they were seeing things.
When the pills were tested, they were found to contain bean powder and wheat flour.
Now, the police have a conundrum on their hands, and they are still grappling with the question of what to charge the culprits with – producing fake illegal drugs? Manufacturing drugs?
Since no one is going to admit having bought fake crystal meth pills, making a case for "scam and fraud" would be a waste of time.
The last we heard, the collective scratching of heads had not stopped. — VNS