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Plastic surgeon suspended for „hiding patient's body“

Published by on Jan 8, 2014 3:36:11 AM

Cat Tuong Beauty Salon, at 45 Giai Phong Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, where a woman died from botched surgery, has been found to be operating illegally.

After her death on the evening of October 19, 2013, the woman’s body was dumped into the Hong River by the facility’s owner, Dr Nguyen Manh Tuong.

Colonel Duong Van Giap, head of the Hanoi Social Crime Investigation Police Department, told Tuoi Tre that Dr Tuong had not filed an application to the Hanoi Health Department for a license for offering cosmetic surgeries to customers.

Therefore, the cosmetic surgery services such as the abdominal liposuction and breast lift surgery performed on the victim are illegal, Giap said.

Nguyen Viet Cuong, chief inspector of Hanoi Health Department, also told Dan Tri news website that Cat Tuong has not been licensed by the Hanoi Health Department to carry out cosmetic surgeries.

“This beauty salon has been operating illegally,” Cuong said.

Cuong emphasized that all licensed beauty salons must operate within their license.

On its website, Cat Tuong has been advertised as a reputable and reliable beauty salon in Hanoi headed by Dr Manh Tuong, who has 14 years of experience as a cosmetic surgeon. A series of beauty services are advertised on the website.

Dr Nguyen Manh Tuong (in white shirt) was escorted by two police officers. He has offered unlicensed cosmetic surgery services to customers since May 2013. (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

After 3 pm on October 22, after Dr  Tuong and his salon’s security guard were arrested, the site was no longer accessible. 

Dr Tuong is a doctor who has worked at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi since 2006. This is one of the most reputable hospitals in Vietnam.

Tuong has been suspended from the hospital for investigation, said Do Doan Loi, a deputy director of the hospital.

As previously reported, Le Thi Thanh Huyen, 37, came to the salon on October 19, 2013, to have abdominal liposuction and breast lift surgery. After being anesthetized, she underwent aesthetic operations performed by Dr Tuong from 12 pm until 4 pm.

Thirty minutes after the surgery, Huyen had difficulty breathing and started foaming at the mouth. Dr Tuong gave her an injection and she appeared to recover. But at 5:45 pm, Tuyen’s body suddenly turned blue and her blood pressure could not be measured. Tuong put her on a respirator and gave her a cardiotonic but could not save her.

Tuong and Dao Quang Khanh, a security guard at his salon, carried Huyen’s body into Tuong’s car to Thanh Tri Bridge and threw it into the Hong River.

After investigation, police arrested Tuong and Khanh on October 22.

Body remains unfound

By October 24, 2013, the body of the victim has not been found, despite great efforts by concerned agencies and the victim’s relatives who have hired motorboats to search for the body on the river.

Colonel Giap said his department has sent 15 officers to take part in the search for the body, while Hanoi Waterway Police Department also said its has assigned a team and a patrol boat to look for the victim.

Cat Tuong Beauty Salon in Hanoi, where Le Thi Thanh Huyen died after a cosmetic surgery on October 19, 2013 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

Hanoi police and the victim’s relatives have also distributed leaflets regarding the case to residents along the river, asking them to provide any related information they may have. 

Yesterday the victim’s family received some information about a floating body seen in Hanoi and Nam Dinh province, but after examination, there was no corpse was found, Colonel Giap said.

What charge for Dr Tuong?

According to investigators, finding the body will help them clarify if Huyen died before or after being thrown into the river by Tuong and his accomplice. Such a clarification is necessary for police to decide an exact charge for Tuong.

Specifically, if a forensic autopsy on the body shows that there is water in the victim’s chest or abdomen, this means the victim was still alive when she was dumped into the river. In this case, Tuong will be charged with “murder” in pursuant to Article 93 of the Penal Code.

If the autopsy shows that the victim had died before being thrown into the river, Tuong can be charged with “accidentally causing human death due to breach of professional or administrative regulations,” under Article 99 of the Code or with “breaching regulations on medical examination and treatment…” according to Article 242 of the Code.

In the event that the victim’s body is not found, it will be difficult for law agencies to prosecute Tuong for murder charges, the Investigation Agency of Hanoi Police said.


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