Many volunteers told that robbers use various tricks to rob foreigners. Specifically, a number of criminals stand around tourist attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Nguyen Hue roundabout, 23/9 Park, in front of shopping malls to snatch cameras in the hands of foreign visitors and then run away with their accomplices who wait on a motorcycle.

Robbery targeting foreign tourists in Vietnam.

Melissa said that she walked to see the streets of Saigon in late afternoon. Upon arrival at the intersection of Le Thanh Ton – Phan Boi Chau in Ben Thanh Ward, a young man driving a motorcycle unexpectedly came from behind to jerk away her wallet, with a cell phone, VND800,000 ($40), US$80, two credit cards, etc. and sped up to escape. Hearing Melissa’s scream for help, two security guards at the Ben Thanh market – Nguyen Van Phu and Do Tran Thanh Binh – immediately chased the robber.

The two guards promptly caught, controlled the robber and transferred him to the police. At the police station, he admitted himself as Chau Tan Hoa, 35, from District 10. Upon receipt of the property, Melissa Koh was very happy and constantly embarked thank the two security guards of Ben Thanh Market. However, lucky victims like Melissa are not many, especially when robbery targeting foreign tourists occurs very often in the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

Western tourists are being warned about rising street crime in places such as Ho Chi Minh City’s Bui Vien district.

An urban inspector of District 1 who guards at the 23/9 park told VietNamNet reporters that at the intersection of Pham Hong Thai – Truong Dinh – Le Lai, robbery against foreign tourists occur everyday. Previously, many foreign tourists were robbed when they got out of the Ben Thanh Market. Recently, the guard and volunteer forces at the market has been strengthened, robbery at this are has been curbed remarkably. However, when visitors leaving Ben Thanh Market area to the roads like Tran Hung Dao, Pham Ngu Lao, Nguyen Hue, they immediately become victims of robbery.

Another typical case that VietNamNet reported before is the case of Yan Kit Kay and Ka Kei Doris, 24, from Hong Kong whose assets were robbed at night in December 2011 on a street in Binh Thanh District. Their tragedy caused a stir among the public opinion when they were penniless and lost their personal documents. The couple had to stay with some good-hearted people and sell postcards on Pham Ngu Lao Street to survive and to earn money to return home.

Finally, the two were lucky to get back their personal papers to return home. Before leaving Vietnam, Yan Kit Kay told reporters: “I have been to many countries, but I have to say that robbery in HCM City is too terrible!”. Not only aiming at foreign tourists in the hub of Ho Chi Minh City, local people are also victims of robbery. Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested many robbery gangs but local people are still very frightened when they go out at night.

The woman reportedly lost her handbag, which contained her passport and all of her money, on Luong Huu Khanh Street in District 1 on Friday afternoon. She and a friend were reading a map while walking along the street, only a few minutes from the heart of the famous backpackers’ area. Two men approached on a motorbike, grasped her bag and run. A local woman told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper that the victim was so scared she passed out. “She couldn’t stop crying. She said her money, her passport and everything were gone.” Her friend said they stayed at a friend’s in the city and were exploring the city. They reported the case to local police right after the incident.

A foreign tourist cries in Ho Chi Minh City on March 11 after two robbers snatch her bag, with all her money and passport inside. Photo: Do Ngoc/Nguoi Lao Dong

The order was made after photos of the helpless tourist crying on the street, clearly devastated, went viral on the Internet.

Vietnam the ‘Hidden charm’.

Nguyen Van My, director of a travel company in the city, said in a letter to Thanh Nien that repeated robberies against tourists have rendered all efforts to promote Vietnam as a friendly country “meaningless”. Mr. My said the new photos came just like “a storm that will destroy all the beautiful things and the hidden charm that Vietnam has to offer. “Earliest media reports said the two tourists were from Europe, but Zing News cited police as saying that the victim is from Egypt. Vietnam has been making various efforts to promote its tourism. The country last year offered 15-day visa waivers to tourists from many Asian and European countries. Foreign arrivals to the country increased 16 percent in the first two months, compared to the same period last year.

Ho Chi Minh City, one of the country’s top destinations, is planning to set up a special police unit to protect tourists given the rise in crime and constant complaints from diplomatic agencies about the safety of their citizens. The city’s police last year worked on more than 130 robbery and snatch-and-run cases involving foreign tourists. Street crime remains a popular topic on global travel forums about the city.

Tricks of robbers in Vietnam.

According to a report of the HCM City Police Agency at the recent meeting to review anti-crime against foreigners in the central area of Ho Chi Minh City, on average, there are about 20 cases of assets infringement related to foreigners, including 16 cases of robbery.

However, this is only the number of cases that the police was reported by the victims. Anh Tuan, a guard at the parking lot at Nguyen Trung Truc – Le Thanh Ton intersection, District 1, said that robbery against tourists usually occurs at dusk. Robbers usually go in pair, sometimes alone. They use motorbikes to approach the victim to snatch their handbags, necklaces, cell phones, etc. then run away.

 

In some cases, travelers place their camera in a fixed position to use the automatic mode; robbers snatch the camera and run away. But the most popular trick is snatching bags, necklaces and cell phones of foreigners who are walking on the road. There are some cases that the victim resisted robbers and they were assaulted by robbers. Talking with VietNamNet, “street knight” Nguyen Van Minh Tien, who caught many robbers, and reconnaissance policemen of the HCM City special task forces said that there are three ways to recognize robbers.

The first type: they do not drive much, only stand on the sidewalk pretending to buy food and drinks or read books but actually they observe victims.

The second type: they often drive on the road to find victims.

The third type: they disguise themselves as very smart people. They do not stare at their prey, they just glance and rob if their victims are careless.

Most of robbers in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City belong to the third category, which is very difficult to detect. Notably, when arresting these robbers, the police seized a lot of weapons such as teargas sprayers, iron tube, knives, electric clubs, etc. from them, which they claimed to use for “self defense.” However, when they are resisted by the victims, they reveal as extremely dangerous robbers. Some robbers are also drug addicts. According to the police’s statistics, of 10 arrests, up to 7-8 robbers are drug addicts.

 

Source: Vietnamnet.vn, Thanhnien.vn