Men jailed for snatching handbag from S Korean woman in Saigon

By Hai Duyen   June 19, 2019 | 04:59 pm PT
Men jailed for snatching handbag from S Korean woman in Saigon
Two men are escorted by police officers to trial for bag snatching in Ho Chi Minh City, June 19, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Binh Nguyen.
A court in HCMC sentenced two Vietnamese men to four years in jail each Wednesday for snatching a handbag from a South Korean woman last year.

According to the indictment, last December, Nguyen Huynh Duc, 21, and Nguyen Van Phuc, 22, were roaming the streets in District 7, home to a major expat community in the city, looking for people to steal from.

When they saw Lee Min Al standing alone in front of a shopping center, Phuc drove the motorbike close to her and Duc, riding pillion, snatched her handbag containing a bank card and cash worth nearly $500. The duo were chased down by patrolling police officers and arrested.

The court said the two men deserved to be strictly punished for their actions, which had damaged the reputation of Vietnam and its people.

In Vietnam, theft becomes a criminal offense if the value of the stolen property exceeds VND2 million ($87).

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, is one of the most visited destinations in the country, with more than seven million foreigners coming last year. Travelers are attracted by the city's mix of modern comfort and wartime heritage, but its charm is often undermined by frequent petty thefts and taxi scams.

South Korean tourists are the second biggest feeder market of Vietnam’s tourism boom, after China.

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