A British ex-pat found dead in Vietnam could have been killed over unpaid debts and was kidnapped and held for a £1,000 ransom on the eve of his death, it has been claimed.
Steve Bush, from Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, moved to Vietnam ten years ago to work in the metal industry and had lived all over the country.
The 54-year-old father-of-one, died in unexplained circumstances in a hospital in Vung Tau, in Vietnam’s South East, on January 12.
His heartbroken friend has said there may be suspicious circumstances involved in the death and it is believed Mr Bush owed six months’ rent.
British ex-pat Steve Bush (pictured), who was found dead in Vietnam earlier this month, could have been killed over unpaid debts and was kidnapped and held for a £1,000 ransom on the eve of his death, it has been claimed
Steve Bush (pictured with his daughter Zara), from Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, moved to Vietnam ten years ago to work in the metal industry and had lived all over the country
Father-of-one Steve Bush is reported to have died in a hospital in Vung Tau (pictured), in Vietnam’s South East, on January 12
Andy Oshea also said he believed Mr Bush was ‘taken by people who demanded a ransom of £1,000 from his girlfriend’.
Mr Oshea, an expat friend who identified the Briton’s body, said he had only recently spoken to Mr Bush.
‘He was happy, he was a lost soul but he’s a nice guy,’ Mr Oshea said.
‘He said he didn’t know what to do and mentioned that he owed six months’ rent.
‘I believe he was taken from where he was staying by people who demanded a ransom of £1,000 from his girlfriend. She was unable to do anything.
‘She received over a dozen phone calls on that Friday night asking for money.
‘On Saturday at 8am he turned up at the hospital, but within minutes of arriving he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated but died.
‘When I identified his body, he had a mark on his jaw and neck. It looked like someone had put their arm around his neck.’
Mr Bush, who had a Vietnamese girlfriend, moved to Vietnam in 2008 after a decade living in Australia and had spent many years travelling the world.
It is believed he checked into hospital on January 12 and could have suffered a cardiac arrest or alcohol poisoning.
Mr Bush’s devastated sister, Amanda Bush and her son Freddie Booth, 21, are shown holding pictures of the 54-year-old Briton
An autopsy to reveal the cause of his death is yet to be carried out and his family said his movements between January 11 and 12 are still unaccounted for.
Mr Bush’s daughter, Zara Bush, 22, from Perth, Western Australia, said: ‘It’s a real shame that he’s gone, he had so much to live for and he’s left a big family behind who’ll miss him very much.’
His devastated sister, Amanda Bush, 50, said: ‘We have no idea what happened. From what we understand he’d been staying at the hotel for six months, and he had debts.
‘We were told that the hotel had booked him a taxi on the Saturday morning to go to hospital because he was feeling unwell.
‘I’m stunned. He was a fun-loving guy, he liked a drink with the lads and loved life.
The 54-year-old father-of-one (pictured with daughter Zara), died in unexplained circumstances in a hospital in Vung Tau, in Vietnam’s South East, on January 12
‘He’ll always be remembered as that fun, good looking guy by the bar with a beer in his hand.’
Amanda’s son Freddie Booth, 21, Mr Bush’s nephew, added: ‘He was a good man.
‘He was an adventurer, he had backpacked all over Vietnam and been over the whole country. He loved Vietnam. It’s a very and tough time for us all.
‘At the moment we don’t know much, we just want some answers.’
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Vietnam, and are in contact with the Vietnamese authorities.’
An employee at the hotel said that they were assisting the police with their inquiries.