Vu Van Duong, 56, a resident from Yen Binh Town, northern mountain Yen Bai Province, was in a hurry to inform police that his wife, Pham Thi But, had been assaulted by an unidentified robber. He even claimed her earrings had been stolen and a gold necklace worth about VND7 million (US$340).
The assault, he said, took place just a few hundred metres from the house where the victim resides. The attacker was allegedly waiting for a victim when But wandered by.
Startled by the commotion, neighbours rushed to the scene where they found But lying on the ground, apparently knocked out by the attacker. They sent someone to fetch her husband, who was found working in his garden. Together, they took the victim to the provincial hospital.
After regaining consciousness, the victim said the robber's face was covered by a shirt. She said he hit her on the head with a stick. However, other details of her story contradicted her husband's account.
She said she did not have her gold necklace with her when assaulted and that she also did not have VND2 million in cash in her pocket. So, while she had been thumped over the head, nothing was stolen.
Local police checking the crime scene later found a shirt, which was later identified as a belonging of the victim's husband. Questioned, Duong confessed that he was the robber. He indicated he attacked her out of frustration and anger.
It turns out that three years ago, Duong was found by his wife to be having an affair. Ever since, his wife has closely monitored his spending as she made herself keeper of all household money. Conflicts and fights were not uncommon.
On the day of the attack, Duong apparently asked his wife when she would return home from the local market. He then covered his face with an old shirt, put on a rain coat and hid in wait for his wife.
After carrying out the attack, he threw his weapon and disguises away before returning home. He then went to police to report the robbery, but he himself was arrested when they figured out that he was the "robber" and that he had attacked his own wife to get even with her.
Apparently, the jaundiced husband invented the theft story to make the attack look real. But he made the mistake of not telling his wife!
Silly man. He will now be able to spend time in jail contemplating his stupidity.
Con men from outer space
Huynh, a resident in southern Can Tho Province, was delighted to find a mysterious rock on sale, which its sellers said was a meteorite and possessed strange powers. The cost was only VND2.5 billion ($120,000)
Coincidently, he was contacted earlier by a group of professionals who claimed to be working for a NASA organisation based in HCM City and charged with the task of collecting meteorites in Viet Nam. They offered to pay up to VND5 billion ($240,000) for them, of course with the one condition that they were genuine.
Doing a quick calculation in his head, Huynh figured he would be able to double his money by playing the middleman. Proceeding with caution, he asked the sellers to prove that their rock was from outer space and a test was arranged to showcase the rock's mysterious powers.
Huynh was completely mesmerised when he was shown how the rock was able to break glasses without touching them and stopped lighters from igniting in close proximity. He returned with a deposit of $24,000, determined to buy the rock. However, as soon as he put the money down, the sellers grabbed it and started running.
Luckily, Huynh brought several helpers with him and they managed to catch all the thieves, with the exception of gang leader Tran Van Um. A police investigation later revealed the whole thing was a scam in which both sellers and buyers of the supposed meteorites were members of the same confidence gangsters.
Um continued to play the trick to scam other victims until he was finally arrested last week and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Next time someone offers to buy a rock from you, make sure they really are from NASA.
New Year gifts turn sour
As the Lunar New Year holidays draw near, employers are giving out old-fashioned gift baskets to their workers and wishing them a happy new year.
Unfortunately, good intentions may go wrong if you gave your hard-working employees products from one company in Song Than 2 Industrial Zone in Binh Duong Province. A typical basket from the company includes a bottle of cooking oil, sugar and a package of additives used in cooking.
It seems, however, that while the rest of the goods were genuine, the additives were imitations that spoilt the whole meaning of the gift. Next year, the company intends to check out all products included in its baskets. — VNS