Police in the southern province of Ca Mau have taken into custody a shrimp farmer from Luu Hoa Thanh hamlet in Tan Thuan commune of Dam Doi district on the suspicious deaths of his employees.
Cao Van Lien, 40, owner of a shrimp farm is being held by the police for investigation into the unusual death of another one of his employees.
The shrimp farm owned by Cao Van Lien is located over an isolated 50 hectare area surrounded by rivers, canals and wild forests. He and his wife had a 16-year-old adopted daughter called Ut, and employed three other people to look after their farm.
The three employees were brothers Pham Minh Vuong, Pham Minh Hieu and Pham Minh Phung, all residents of Tri Luc commune in Thoi Binh district of Ca Mau Province.
From 2008 till 2012, three of the four people working for Lien had died under mysterious circumstances and in succession. The adopted daughter Ut strangled herself in early 2008 when she was just a few months pregnant.
A year after her death, Phung, 22, was found dead in a goat barn in a sitting position, leaning against the cage in the middle of the night.
Shortly after Phung died, his brother Vuong disappeared from the house and only Hieu was left to tend to the farm work.
Early morning of June 13, Nguyen Van Thanh and his son Nguyen Van Minh intruded into Lien’s shrimp pond to catch snakes and found Hieu dead in a hanging position from the mangroves trees.
They immediately reported the incident to the police.
At the scene police found the victim's skull hanging from the mangrove branches. Post mortem revealed that the body was indeed Hieu’s and that he had been dead for 30 days.
However, Lien confessed that Hieu only left home on May 31.
While searching Lien’s house, the police discovered two hunting rifles, a pistol, a Japanese sword and a saber. Lien was then arrested on suspicion of killing his employees.
On the afternoon of June 18, Ca Mau anti-crime police decided to keep him in custody to continue to further investigate the mysterious deaths.