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Gang of Colombian thieves arrested

Released at: 10:34, 05/04/2017

Gang of Colombian thieves arrested

Rodricuez Luis Alexander was arrested in the Cau Treo Border Gate (Source: anninhthudo.vn)

Gang stole nearly $440,600 in 13 cases in Vietnam alone.

by Uy Vu

Hanoi police officially launched an investigation on April 4 into a gang of thieves allegedly responsible for 13 thefts in Vietnam and have detained five Colombian nationals, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

The arrested are Fabian Lucero Wilches (born in 1982), Jose Aureliano Rosa Pena (1962), Jersain Ladino Cardona (1966), Carlos Alberto Lamprea Pena (1970), and Rodricuez Cuervo Luis Alexander (1977). 

Wilches, the ringleader, confessed that from 2014 they entered more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe and South America and carried out over 100 thefts, stealing nearly VND10 billion ($440,600) in 13 cases in Vietnam alone.

The latest case in the country occurred on March 28 when Hanoi police received a report that a resident of Phuong Liet ward in the capital’s Thanh Xuan district lost VND1.6 billion ($70,500) while his car was stopped on Xa Dan Street.

Preliminary investigations found that four foreigners followed the victim after he withdrew money from the Thanh Xuan branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV). One of the foreigners opened the rear door of the car when it stopped at traffic lights on Xa Dan Street and stole the money, which was on the back seat.

Their identities and methods were found to be similar to a case that occurred on Hang Tre Street in Hoan Kiem district on February 22, in which VND1.7 billion ($74,900) was stolen from a private vehicle. 

Information regarding a professional gang of Colombian thieves entering Vietnam from Laos and Cambodia posing as tourists led police to conduct a search of the rented accommodation of some suspects in the Ciputra residential area in Bac Tu Liem district on March 30, where they seized VND400 million ($17,600) from Cardona and VND390.05 million ($17,180) from Pena.

They admitted that the money was stolen from the driver in Xa Dan Street.

On April 1, police from Hanoi and Gio Linh district in central Quang Tri province arrested the ringleader, Wilches, and Pena. Nearly VND800 million ($35,200) which still bore the seal of BIDV Thanh Xuan, along with $2,000, was confiscated.

The same day, Alexander, Wilches’s accomplice, who directly engaged in the theft on Hang Tre street, was detained at the Cau Treo International Border Gate in central Ha Tinh province.

Hanoi police are coordinating with Interpol and police from other countries and territories to conduct further investigations.

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