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British woman fights bag-snatcher in Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 12:09 GMT+7

Public safety for foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City was questioned again this week after a British woman was robbed in broad daylight.

Walking on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in District 1 when the incident occurred on Monday afternoon, a man on a scooter approached the woman and snatched her purse.

The purse contained an iPhone 5S and VND1 million (US$44.82) in cash.

The Briton tried to grab her belongings back from the snatcher, identified as 36-year-old Tran Nguyen Trung Hoa, and eventually caused him to come off his vehicle.

Hoa managed to flee on foot and head to District 4, but was later caught by Phan Van Quan, an officer of the firefighting agency in District 8, and Nguyen Van Loi, a public security officer in Cau Ong Lanh Ward.

The bag-snatcher is being detained by District 1 police for further investigation, officers said on Tuesday.

Hoa has previous convictions for possessing illegal drugs and stealing property. He had been released from jail two months ago before the attempt to rob the British woman, according to police.

The offender confessed that he committed the crime to pay for a motorbike he had pawned to pay gambling debts.

The incident is the latest in a series of robberies and bag snatchings targeting foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City.

In March, an Egyptian woman fell victim to two bag snatchers, also in District 1, who robbed her of $230 in cash and an ATM card. The visitor later received a public apology from local authorities.  

In mid-February, Dinh La Thang, secretary of the municipal Party Committee, set an objective for relevant agencies in Ho Chi Minh City to reduce criminal offences of this nature over the following three months.

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