When the two policemen showed up at midnight in a surprise raid, the staff and owners of the Tuyet Mai Guest House in Nghe An Province's Yen Thanh District knew they would be fined yet again for having guests who'd not been registered with the local police station.
The officers, assigned by the provincial police department to carry out "sudden administrative checks," were collecting fines of VND5 million (US$240) from the guest house and VND12 million ($570) from three of their guests when there was yet another surprise raid.
The second surprise raid by police in the local commune proceeded to arrest the policemen, Phan Ba Hung and Nguyen Van Tu for cheating people.
Hung , 56, a former policeman of Dong Van Commune in the province's Tan Ky District, and his colleague, a 34-year-old resident of the province's Do Luong district, were last Friday sentenced to two years and fifteen months in prison respectively.
It is reported that the ex-cop and his understudy wore police uniforms with military chevrons when conducting their surprise inspections. They'd also raided the Tuyet Mai Guest House four times earlier and were only caught during their fifth raid on the same establishment nine months later.
The mixing up of police uniforms with military insignia can perhaps be understood, but shouldn't the ex-cop have known that repeat "random" checks would arouse suspicion?
And if the ex-cop proved to be such an inept thief, how good was he at his earlier job, when he was supposed to catch thieves?
New car, old habit
Washing" something new is a long-standing Vietnamese tradition. So if you buy a new house or a car, or even a shirt, friends will ask you to "wash" it by treating them to a drink or a meal.
On 15 December, Nguyen Thanh Tung, a 39-year-old citizen, decided to do the "washing" literally.
He took his new car for washing at a facility in Khanh Xuan Commune, Buon Ma Thuot City. Unfortunately, as the car was being washed, the city police descended on the facility and arrested Tung.
We don't know if Tung offered the "finders keepers" explanation for being in possession of a military car that he had found empty with the keys in the ignition an hour or so earlier, but he did confess that he was a long-time drug addict.
Nguyen Danh Dai, a driver with the army's Division 470 based in Buon Ma Thuot, said that the car was stolen shortly after he took a military officer on a business trip.
He'd parked the car on Road 14 and left it, with the key in the ignition, for just five minutes to run some personal errand. The car was gone when he returned. Presumably, he'd presumed that no one in their right mind would dare to steal a military car.
Presumably, there are two sadder, wiser men in Buon Ma Thuot today.
‘Boaring' porn excites pigs
In Vietnamese, "piggy films" is a euphemism for porn. Nguyen Vu Phuong, a 50-year-old farmer in Vinh Long Province, has let it be known that the pigs he will sell in the market will be derived from having sows in his stable watch piggy films, i.e., boars (male pigs) in action.
In a marked departure from tradition, which is to parade a male pig around the pen to identify sows or gilts in heat for artificial insemination, Phuongwill use a projector to show clips of a boar or two. He expects that the sounds they make on screen will get the sows in heat interested.
He hit upon the ruse because getting a real male pig is quite expensive. If it works, he plans to experiment further with clips on soccer, music, cartoons and beauty contests.
Phuong has already gained reputation for unusual animal-raising methods, which include letting his pigs listen to the news and music, the theory being that they will mistake those sounds for those of him and his wife, and stay calm when the couple leave the farm.
Whether his novel methods succeed or not, Phuong has certainly succeeded in promoting his pigs in the market. — VNS