Vietnamese man charged over 2017 Berlin kidnapping, alleged spying

By Thomson Reuters Aug 25, 2022 | 7:58 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) – An alleged spy has been charged for his suspected involvement in the high-profile kidnapping of a Vietnamese businessman in Berlin in 2017, the German federal prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.

The suspect, a Vietnamese national identified as Anh T. L., is accused of secret service activity and aiding and abetting the deprivation of liberty, a statement from the office said.

The suspect was extradited to Germany from the Czech Republic in early June after being arrested in Prague.

On July 23, 2017, former oil executive Xuan Thanh Trinh was bundled into a van on a central Berlin street together with his female companion before being taken against his will back to Vietnam, where he was jailed for life.

Thanh, a former high flyer accused of causing losses and mismanagement at PetroVietnam Construction JSC, had sought asylum in Germany before his disappearance, which soured bilateral relations between Berlin and Hanoi.

One year after the abduction, a Vietnamese man identified as Long N. H. Was found guilty of involvement in the plot and sentenced by a Berlin court to three years and 10 months in prison.

(Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Toby Chopra)