Pham Thanh Tuu, aged 39 from the southern province of Dong Nai, was hired as a security guard for a small workshop in District 9, HCM City.
Tuu failed his duties in a major way not only because the workshop, which was his charge to oversee, and a number of other valuables vanished over night but also because he was the one who sold them.
Late in August, Tuu called a local garbage collector and sold the entire workshop for just under US$270, which was quite the bargain sale considering that included everything, including the metal frames and everything else in it.
He was found last week in a local park and taken to the police. The case is under investigation to determine the motive behind the security guard's "bargain sale".
Love thy neighbour…or else
Tran Dinh Chau, a resident in the town of Ha Lam in central Quang Nam Province sued his neighbour Phan Tan Hiep because he believed that Hiep's under-construction building was on his land. To be exact, 27cm on his land.
Chau reasoned that 27cm turned into almost 8sq.m given the length of the land lot, which was measured at 29m. Chau, who was regarded widely as one of the richest men in the town, said the case against his neighbour wasn't about the money or the land but about principle.
The Ha Lam local People's Committee in their first ruling rejected his claim and told Hiep to continue with the construction. Not quite satisfied with the decision, Chau decided to bring the case to the district's court. The district's court suspended Hiep construction to verify the measurement data provided by both sides. It has been months since Hiep had to put everything on hold because of the legal battle.
In the mean time, locals found the case to be quite upsetting. "All we can hear about recently was the Hiep vs Chau case. I'm quite embarrassed to see neighbours treating each other like enemies in our town," said a local resident.
The local chief judge said there was a discrepancy in measurement data provided by the two sides and that was likely the cause of the dispute. Stopping the construction was part of the procedure in cases like this.
When asked if he was concerned about losing his neighbour over the land dispute, Chau said he didn't really care as his family owned seven houses and therefore they had quite a few neighbours.
Vietnamese often say that neighbours are important, perhaps even more important than far away relatives simply because they are the ones who will be there when you need help. That's usually the case unless you are Chau, a man with so many neighbours that he felt he could afford to lose one or two. — VNS