Ho Chi Minh City police are investigating viral videos of a three-year-old boy smoking meth after being threatened by an unknown man.
Police officers said on Sunday they are searching for the man in the videos, who is suspected of being the lover of the boy’s mother.
The clips have been shared widely on social media recently.
The case was brought to authorities attention by a 30-year-old man, identified only as Tai, who claimed to be the boy’s biological father.
Images in one 20-second clip Tai showed police revealed a boy in diapers sucking on a meth straw while a woman’s voice can be heard in the background asking: “OK?”
Other videos showed a heavily-tattooed man in shorts using hammers and pliers to threaten the boy.
Tai told police that he’d gotten married in 2018 and then had two children, with the boy in the clip being the youngest child.
Two years ago, Tai said, his wife left him and took their children to live with the man in the videos.
Tai said he became worried about his children when last year he found out that the man living with his wife was using drugs.
He then discovered the clips in question on his wife’s Facebook account and reported them to police.
Investigators in Hoc Mon District went to a house thought to be where the boy’s mother lives with her lover, but they found no evidence of the couple, the boy, nor of the incidents portrayed in the videos.
“Images in the videos do not confirm whether or not the boy was forced to smoke drugs, or whether he suffered violence or not,” one investigator said. “These videos could be fake.”
The Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Rights Protection Association has urged police to immediately clarify whether the boy in the videos has been abused.
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