|Defendant Vo Van Minh at the court. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempting to appropriate property. — Photo 24h.com.vn
TIEN GIANG (VNS) — The People's Court in Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang today sentenced a man to seven years in prison for trying to appropriate property.
Defendant Vo Van Minh, 35, in Cai Be district's An Cu commune, was accused of attempting to appropriate property worth VND500 million (US$22,700) and sentenced after a two-day trial.
According to the indictment, Minh, the owner of a coffee shop bought soft drink products of Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group to sell to customers.
Early last December, Minh claimed he had found a dead fly in a bottle of Number One, a yellow energy drink, and called the company to demand VND1 billion (US$45,400) to keep the incident a secret.
The defendant even threatened to report the case to the police and distribute 5,000 leaflets around the province. After three rounds of negotiations, the company agreed to pay half of his initial demand, even as they tipped off the police.
The court determined that in January he was arrested after being caught red-handed while receiving money from the company, and later prosecuted for attempted extortion.
Earlier, police in Tien Giang Province, decided to prosecute him for allegedly blackmailing the company.
The jury termed the action as trickery to appropriate property. The defendant's behaviour was a danger to society and must be dealt with strictly, it added. — VNS