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11 arrested for pickpocketing foreigners in southern Vietnam

Members of a pickpocket gang which targets foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City's downtown at a police station last Friday

Ho Chi Minh City police arrested 11 members of a pickpocket gang  targeting foreigners in the city’s downtown last Friday.

Police said the gang’s alleged leaders were Tang Thi Thuy Trang, a 37-year-old woman, and Chau Van Nhieu, a 50-year-old man.

The gang usually targeted foreign men walking in areas around District 1 early in the morning, with female members pretending to be street vendors or prostitutes to approach them and then pickpocket them when they are not looking.

After that, the women jumped into motorbikes driven by male gang members to flee the scenes.


Police recently started lying in ambush for the pickpocketers after receiving complaints from foreign tourists. At around 3 a.m. last Friday, dozens of police officers arrested nine gang members while they were about to use their ploy on Bui Vien Street in District 1. 


Based on the nine’s testimonies, police arrested another pickpocket and Dang Van Thai, a 33-year-old man who owns a mobile phone shop to which gang members sold their stolen mobile phones.


According to the suspects, at around 3 a.m. last Thursday, five of them approached three Cambodian male tourists walking on Bui Vien and pickpocketed three iPhone 5s.


Previously at around 2 a.m. on February 6, Trang and Huynh Thi Phuong Tuyen, a 30-year-old member, spotted an Australian man walking on the same street.


The pair came to the man and hugged him. Tuyen picked a mobile phone in his pocket before she and Trang ran away and jumped on a motorbike driven by Nhieu to flee the scene.


When police searched Thai’s Tien Phat Mobile Phone Shop in District 4, they found two iPhone 5s stolen from the Cambodian tourists.


Trang and her accomplices told police they had been involved in around 70 pickpocketing cases.

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