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Germany says Vietnam kidnapped asylum seeker in Berlin

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Germany says Vietnam kidnapped asylum seeker in Berlin

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany accused Vietnam on Wednesday of kidnapping a Vietnamese asylum seeker in Berlin and returning him to his country, where authorities suspect him of corruption. Berlin responded by ordering a Vietnamese intelligence officer to leave Germany. “There is no serious doubt about the participation of the Vietnamese intelligence service and embassy in the kidnapping of a Vietnamese citizen on German soil,” a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters. “So the German State Secretary summoned the ambassador from Vietnam yesterday afternoon,” he said. “The kidnapping of a Vietnamese citizen on German soil is an unprecedented .. breach of German law and international law… and has the potential to negatively affect relations massively,” said the spokesman, adding it was also a breach of confidence. He said the official representative of the Vietnamese intelligence service had been ordered to leave Germany within 48 hours and Berlin was considering further action. The spokesman said the asylum seeker, Trinh Xuan Thanh, was a businessman believed by Vietnamese authorities to be linked to the disappearance of large sums of money from a state company. German media reported the man had been taken from the Tiergarten, a large forested park in central Berlin, by armed men on July 23.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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