Debt-ridden Vietnamese ask to be put behind bars

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HANOI, Nov 14 (Reuters) Two bankrupt Vietnamese businessmen have asked the authorities to put them in jail to escape their creditors, newspapers reported today.

''We are now at our wits end and we petition to be sent to jail in order to avoid debt payment,'' the men wrote in a letter this week to the chairman of the People's Committee, or local government, in southern Tay Ninh province.

Director Truong Hoang Dung and deputy director Truong Thanh Nien were quoted as saying their export company, Nhat Tan, had started to suffer after it did not receive a 93,000 dollar refund from the provincial tax agency.

The request for a refund was sent in April 2005. The company, which exported tea, coffee and other products to Cambodia, stopped operations at the end of that year but Dung and Nien are still paying 6,200 dollar a month in debts.

Nien was quoted as saying that since he would go to prison sooner or later because of the bankruptcy, he might as well start his jail time now.

REUTERS SV SSC1405

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