Sunday , May 26 2024

Man gets death for bank caper murder


A man who unsuccessfully tried to rob a bank in Da Nang was sentenced to death Thursday for killing a security guard who chased him from the crime scene.

Nguyen Manh Cuong, 25, will receive capital punishment for his conviction on three charges: murder, robbery and “the illegal purchase and use of military weapons.”

His accomplice, Tran Van Tri, 22, received 30 years imprisonment, the second-longest official jail sentence in Vietnam after life.

The two entered a BIDV branch in Da Nang on Nov. 22.

Tri fired a warning gun shot to scare bank staff into giving them money. But the employees quickly turned on the facility’s alert system and even cleared the safe’s code and threw the key away, preventing the bandits from taking any money.

As the culprits fled on a motorbike, Tran Minh Thanh, 53, the bank’s guard, chased after them, only to be stabbed to death by Cuong with a knife he had brought along.

“I was just stabbing randomly in order to escape, I did not mean to kill him,” Cuong told the court.

Cuong said he had returned to Vietnam in November 2022 after five years working in Japan. He then dug himself into debt via failed online gambling activities.

He met Tri via a Facebook group for people in debt. Members of the forum often discussed tactics for the indebted, such as how best to beg for money, and how to find places to stay for free. But the group also encouraged members to message each other if they wanted to do anything illegal.

After establishing a relationship, the duo took accommodation together in Da Nang and began planning the botched heist.

Tri had wanted to burglarize a villa, but Cuong persuaded him that the bank caper would yield “a lot of money.”

They chose the BIDV branch because it had only one guard and the area was not very crowded.

Cuong sold his cell phone for the money to buy the gun and six bullets. The partners then rented a motorbike to drive to the bank. They told investigators they had planned to burn the vehicle after finishing the heist.

Cuong said he had in fact noticed that almost all bank robbers in Vietnam were eventually caught, but he still wanted to try his luck. He said he and Tri had planned not to commit any more crimes if the BIDV mission had been successful.

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