Vietnam News

Female detectives brave their job in Vietnam

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It might strike people as a job for risk-taking men, but being a private investigator has attracted Vietnamese women, some of whom have had braved the job despite dangers and physical demands.

“We feel happy to have helped rebellious children to come around and troubled couples to kiss and make up,” said Chau Loan, a detective with over a decade of experience.

“But we definitely will not harm people or break the laws.”

Your correspondent met with Chau Loan at her office.

She looks younger than her age, with a bright complexion and an attractive face.

Perhaps that much experience has given her a pair of eyes that seemingly pierce people’s minds.

A dangerous job

Loan graduated from the University of Commerce in Hanoi, with a degree in accounting.

Her parents urged her to apply for a civil servant position for its financial stability.

They also believed that such an option would be easy for her to get married, but she thought otherwise.

It happened over a friendly ice cream cone she was having with a friend when the keen detective story reader Loan came across a vacancy poster seeking private investigators.

Intrigued, the two filed their application forms and both got admitted.

While her friend left the place after several years, Loan has stayed put until now.

“The best part of this job is that I get to know lots of good diners and coffee places,” Loan funnily remarked.

Female detectives are generally ‘better treated’ than their male counterparts.

They are often assigned jobs that are less challenging or risky, but not entirely without danger.

Once Loan was entrusted to track a loan shark who originally came from Hai Phong, a city in the north of Vietnam.

He settles in Hanoi with his wife, who hired private investigators to watch her husband’s suspicious behaviors.

The gangster has been associated with drug trade, street weapon fights, usury, and lease debt collection. His minions are ready to spill blood on his command.

The detective team had to divide their tasks and watched the man from different locations to avoid being spotted on the job.

While Loan was tailing him on her motorbike to Tay Mo Ward, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, the man suddenly parked his bike and started walking after driving around places.

Loan had no choice but to get off the bike and walk, but she lost him and found herself in the middle of nowhere.

There was nobody around, and the road was as far as the eye could see, full of tombs located on both sides.

With her hair standing on end, she tried to find a way out. All of a sudden, a rough hand grabbed her on the shoulder.

Startled, she turned around to find the gangster eying her with disgust, asking, “Why are you following me?”

“Hey! I don’t know you,” she quickly replied.

“Why would I be following you?

“I’m looking for a woman named Bich. She sells cats for a living in To Village. Do you know her?”

The man murmured a few words and then left. Loan had to signal her colleagues to take her place.

Had she been exposed, the female detective would have been in grave danger, and the contract would have been lost, not to mention what might have happened to the very client who had hired their team.

The upper hand

However, those in the field understand the advantage that women have in tasks like tracking people down.

A few years ago, one of Loan’s male colleagues got arrested and taken to the local police station while he was on duty, for villagers thought he was a dog thief.

He was assigned to a village where lots of dogs had been stolen.

The detective disguised himself in shabby clothes to sniff around the neighborhood.

One of the locals found this wandering man rather suspicious, so he yelled at the unsuspecting young man, who lost his cool and got captured by the villagers.

Female detectives normally attract less attention, but they also have to work late just like their male colleagues.

In their handbags, there are always extra clothing and footwear for quick attire changing.

They would dress up nicely when entering an office building or a supermarket, and would switch to slippers when they have to start walking.

Loan said she is lucky to have an empathetic husband and parents-in-law.

Had they protested it, she would not be doing the job by now.

The longest business trip in her career was one to Ho Chi Minh City.

She was assigned to investigate a company suspected of making bogus mobile beds and hammock stands.

She pretended to be seeking for a job in accounting and collected evidence while she was on the job.

It turned out that the company under investigation was copying her client’s ideas and making identical products.

The detective gathered video clips, relevant documentation, locations of warehouses as well as information on loading dates, and sent everything back to her headquarters.

Meanwhile, her co-detectives were tailing their trucks to figure out their sources of goods and distribution process.

The female ‘chameleon’

My Hang was a colleague of Chau Loan.

She is a master of disguise.

She affirmed that without the ability to disguise oneself, it is impossible to work as a detective.

In her opinion, a professional investigator must not be spotted even if they are sitting right next to their target on the same train bench.

One evening when she was following a rich businessman, she had to think on her feet when the target suddenly stopped by a disco bar.

He became drunk and got his eyes fixed on beautiful young girls.

The detective quickly dressed herself up, and lured the man into her trap.

He asked for her phone number, and through the text messages she could get all the information she needed.

“It still scares me to think of that moment. I could never believe I could take such a big risk,” Hang said.

Some shall not pass

To Hang, the biggest success of the job was to ‘catch’ her caring husband.

He was her co-worker, who rushed to her aid when she was scared to death.

Their first meeting was a late night when Hang was following a target.

As the clock struck midnight, she was terrified to realize she was in a cemetery on her own.

After her distress call to headquarters, a handsome investigator arrived and took over the mission so she could head home.

They got married and have lived happily together ever since.

But other female investigators are not so lucky in their family life.

Tuyet, for example, almost lost her marriage after her fiancé saw her and a colleague checking in at a hotel.

They were, in fact, tracking their targets.

It was a mess both for her and the company, and it ended in Tuyet leaving the office for the sake of her own family happiness.

Her detective agency has had a high turnover.

Some quitted as the job was too tough, while others could not continue due to familial issues.

By Vu Tuan & Tien Bui – Tuoi Tre News – April 26, 2020

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