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Trang Chủ   >>   Detective Stories
8/11/2010 9:39' (GMT+7) | Views : 1247


According to old documents, one of the 1st detectives in Vietnam was Mr. Le Van Luong with his private detective office at 109A Pasteur, Old Saigon named “Lelion Lefort Agency” since 1962.

Mr Nguyen Huu Vinh, director of V- Protection & Investigation Co; Ltd, provided us a address and we went to Luong’s hometown in Kim Thuong hamlet, Kim Binh village, Kim Bang (Ha Nam).

It was the address of Mrs. Tam, teacher Chinh’s mother. A girl took us to a house with the flower-covered gate and said: “It’s Tam’s house”. An old woman opened the gate, taking us through a slope-opposite brick road to an unusual, quiet simple small house. On the right of outdated furniture with only a tea-set above was a mosquito net- lowered bed, which seemed to be so quiet that we felt compassion. The old woman slightly called towards the net: “Mum, we have guest”.

The net shook gently and a rawboned small great-grandmother tremblingly pulled it up. She looked at us with her dim eyes, trying to show her joyfulness. Going with me was the old journalist Thuan Giang, a friend of her child. He said: “This is Luong’s 1st wife, Mrs. Le Thi Tam”.

Today is the anniversary of Luong’s death. On the altar was the posthumous picture of an over 70-year-old hale, hearty and imposing man. His square face, large mouth, high forehead and hoary hair showed his valiant and vicissitudes of life as he was young. Next to his altar was his honorary degree of Doctor issued by Los Angeles University. We lighted incense for him and listened to stories of his life.

Le Van Luong was born in 1913 in a family of Confucian tradition. At the age of 17, he got married with Mrs. Le Thi Tam, who lived in the same village but hamlet as him. She was at the same age as him and was the most beautiful in the region. Luong worked as a teacher and his wife tilled the field and weaved. Their life was as quiet as ramparts of bamboo in the autumn. However, ambition was always full in blood vessel of the young man.

After that, Luong left his hometown as well as his wife for Hanoi to study and got acquainted with a beautiful, aristocratic and well-studied girl Tuong Vi of noble blood. Her brother was just King Bao Dai. The two had a congenial companion so Luong took Tuong Vi to his hometown and celebrated their wedding against the family’s objection.

Living in Hanoi for a period of time, he worked as a teacher at Vinh Quoc Hoc high school and then Hue Quoc Hoc high school. In spite of adventurous and amorous blood, Luong never sank into music and women but always studied, researched and desired to stretch himself.

In Saigon, he got married to two other wives. The 4th named Nhieu lived in Ky Dong so she was called “Tu Ky Dong” (4th Ky Dong). At that time, he was proficient in 5 languages: English, French, Chinese, Japanese and Russian and had many degrees of Law, Economics and Kung fu.

He took the two children of the 1st wife to Saigon to live together with him but he was arrested by France-close government because of ever teaching Japanese. Released from prison with a broken family, he did many jobs and succeeded the most in the job as a lawyer of his own law advisory office. He usually went to Hong Kong to study about detective work.

In 1962, he opened the most famous private detective office in Saigon and became one of those who seized much business and competition information of businessmen and politicians of quisling regime.

According to what Thuan Giang told, in Saigon the most magnificent building at No109A Pasteur resided by many households was then sold to a boss at the price of 300 gold taels. The boss destroyed it and rebuilt a much more splendid building and suspended a plate “Lelion Lefort Agency” and a line of Vietnamese “Văn phòng thám tử tư”.

Everyone often saw a tall imposing man in Mercedes SE 280 car, one of three most luxurious cars on Saigon then, go out of and into that building. Owners of the two other luxurious cars are the French leader of a construction company and President Nguyen Van Thieu.

Thuan Giang said that Luong ever told him about his dream of becoming a detective. When he was small, he admired “Detective Le Phong” (Tham tu Le Phong) by The Lu. Detective Le Phong idol was engraved into the mind of the richly enthusiastic, intelligent and errant guy and he made his dream come true when possible. The name of his office “Lelion Lefort Agency” meant “Le Luong – Le Phong Agency”.

His aspiration was known by little people; however, his eldest son of his eldest son opened a business store on Hoang Hoa Tham street, Hanoi, named “Le Phong” Store.

 (According to Tram Anh – Tuoitre newspaper)

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