Vietnamese tycoon and internet celebrity arrested for ‘abusing democratic freedoms’


Nguyen Phuong Hang at a police station in HCMC. Photo courtesy of the police

A Vietnamese businesswoman who caused an internet sensation after criticizing several celebrities in Facebook live videos was arrested on Thursday night for “undermining democratic freedoms”.

Nguyen Phuong Hang, 51, general manager of the Dai Nam Joint Stock Company in southern Binh Duong province, was arrested by Ho Chi Minh City police pending an investigation for “abuse of democratic freedoms to undermine the interests of the state, the legitimate rights and the interests of organizations and/or citizens.

Last month, Hang was temporarily banned from leaving the country until the end of April following multiple accusations of slander and insults.

Among those who accused her of defamation was Nguyen Duc Hien, deputy editor of Vietnamese newspaper Phap luat TP HCM (HCMC Law).

Last year, in an interview she gave to another newspaper, Hang was asked about the “inappropriate comments” she had made on social media. Hang retaliated with several live streams on Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, expressing his anger at Hien.

Hang, born Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, is known for being ostentatious, not shy about flaunting her wealth. She and her husband, Huynh Uy Dung, former general manager of the Dai Nam company, are both famous for their lavish lifestyles and philanthropy.

A year ago, she took the online community by storm with a live and most-watched talk from several celebrities on her Facebook page. The hour-long videos each drew hundreds of thousands of views, some of which criticized the celebrities for their lack of transparency about charitable money raised from other people.

The police investigation into his charges has so far revealed no violations.


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