|Statement to the press from the Royal Malaysia Police on the arrest of Đoàn Thị Hương, the Vietnamese passport holder suspected of the murder of North Korean citizen Kim Chol.|
HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday acknowledged that a holder of Vietnamese passport was arrested in Malaysia for her alleged involvement in the murder of a North Korean citizen Kim Chol.
The Department of Consular affairs (DoC) told reporters that the ministry has ordered the Vietnamese embassy in Malaysia to urgently work with local authorities to clarify relevant information regarding a woman carrying a Vietnamese passport under the name of Đoàn Thị Hương. Vietnamese authorities were also working in close collaboration with Kuala Lumpur to identify the suspect.
She was arrested on February 15 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport following the death of the North Korean citizen Kim Chol a day earlier.
“The Malaysian authorities, however, said that consular contact with the arrested suspect was restricted for seven days after the arrest due to the seriousness of the case”, said the Department of Consular affairs.
“Therefore, the identification work is yet to progress.”
The Vietnamese embassy in Kuala Lumpur is closely following the investigation, it said.
One reportedly killed, 7 abducted in pirate attack
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered Vietnamese representatives in the Philippines, Malaysia and neighbouring countries to check information that a Vietnamese ship was attacked by pirates off the coast of the Philippines.
News broke out in Việt Nam yesterday that the pirates reportedly killed a crew member of a Vietnamese ship and abducted six others in the waters off the Sulu archipelago in the Midanao region.
The Ministry of Transport later confirmed that the ship, named MW Giang Hải, with 17 crew members onboard, was transporting cement from Indonesia to the Philippines, and came under attack at around 6pm on Sunday near the restive Sulu archipelago.
The pirates were reportedly armed and shot 22-year-old crew member Vũ Đức Hạnh, according to the Thanh niên (Young People) newspaper.
Six other Vietnamese nationals abducted are the captain of the vessel, two vice captains, two mechanics, and one sailor. The other 10 sailors were left onboard and later rescued by a Vietnamese-flagged cargo ship.
The attackers haven’t been identified, however the rebel group Abu Sayyaf is known to operate in the area, and has previously been involved in piracy and kidnapping.
The Vietnamese transport ministry has informed the country’s Consulate General in the Philippines of the incident and has asked for co-operation and support from Filipino authorities.
A Vietnamese ship was also attacked by pirates about 10 nautical miles from Basilan Island in November last year, as it was transporting cement from Quảng Ninh Province to the Philippines. — VNS