Police in Vietnam have expelled an American man of Vietnamese origin accused of planning to disrupt the Olympic torch relay scheduled for Ho Chi Minh City on April 29, local media said Friday.
Police at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport placed Vuong Henry Minh (also known by his Vietnamese name, Vuong Hoang Minh), 34, on a flight back to the US on Thursday, according to Hanoi Moi (New Hanoi) newspaper.
The newspaper states that customs police found T-shirts and papers "bearing distorted contents and igniting disruptions against the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Ho Chi Minh City" in Minh's luggage when he arrived on a flight from the US on Wednesday.
The paper said Minh had admitted being a member of the "reactionary group People's Democracy," apparently referring to the People's Democratic Party, an exile Vietnamese organization led by Cong Thanh Do., dpa reported.
Do, an American citizen who wrote internet essays advocating multiparty democracy in Vietnam, was arrested and deported from Vietnam in late 2006 after a stay of several months, after authorities accused him of plotting to bomb the US Embassy.
Hanoi Moi said Minh had planned to snatch the torch during the relay, to wear T-shirts protesting the Olympics, to demonstrate in front of the Chinese consulate, and to toss leaflets from the roof of the Rex Hotel.
The Rex is the site of a press conference scheduled by the organizers of the torch relay on April 27.
Earlier this week, a prominent democracy activist whose blog featured reports on demonstrations against the relay of the Beijing Olympic torch was arrested by Vietnamese police, according to local media.
Police arrested Nguyen Van Hai, who blogs under the name Dieu Cay, on charges of tax evasion.
Hai is a member of a group of internet bloggers known as the Union of Independent Journalists. Other members of the group have called for protests along the torch's route when it is carried through Ho Chi Minh City.
Members of the group were also involved in organizing demonstrations in December and January against Chinese moves to assert sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims.
On his blog, Hai had featured articles on protests against the torch in other cities around the world, and others critical of China's policies in Tibet and the Spratlys and opposing the torch's relay through Vietnam.
A detailed schedule for the relay in Ho Chi Minh City was published in the Vietnamese press in March, but has apparently been rescinded since pro-Tibetan protests were staged against the torch's progress through various European cities.
The protests at the torch relays came in the wake of violent clashes between Tibetans and Chinese police which began in early March.