40-year-old Vietnamese celebrity arrested for woman's death due to exorcism

Mentally ill man sent to jail
Man arrested in Vietnam (Representational Picture) Reuters

A Vietnamese celebrity was arrested on Tuesday, March 7 for his suspected involvement in a woman's death, who died during the practice of 'exorcism' when she was drugged.

During the bizarre ritual, the pop star called Nguyen Viet Cuong forcefully put the garlic cloves into the 20-year-old victim's mouth and waited until she died due to suffocation.

According to the local daily Tuoi Tre News, during the investigation the 40-year-old accused told the local police that he visited a friend's house, which is situated in Ba Dinh District at around 3:30 am for a party.

He met with one of his celebrity friend called Doan Quy Nguyen along with other friends, including the victim. The group later consumed drugs over the night and Cuong started to hallucinate at around 8 am.

Due to excessive use of narcotics Cuong convinced that the unnamed woman was possessed by an evil spirit and he brought garlic cloves to practice the ritual of exorcism.

The accused then scattered garlic around the house and then started to shove the garlic clove one after another into the mouth of the woman, which killed her from suffocation.

Police said that his friends tried to control the situation but could not succeed due to the influence of the drug.

The autopsy report stated that 33 garlic cloves were found from victim's throat. The cause of death was mentioned as congest in the respiratory tract.

However, this is not the first case where Cuong is facing a criminal charge, as in 2012 he was found guilty of raping a high school senior in Hanoi's Hoang Mai District.

Now, police detained him for further investigation.

In Vietnam, the ritual is called Shaman. It exists in mainstream religion in Vietnam, it is mostly found in the traditions of the country's ethnic minority groups.