Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday said they had arrested eight suspects for robbing bus passengers on many routes from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta provinces.
The arrest was made with the support of police in Long An and Tien Giang provinces in the Delta region, said Colonel Le Ngoc Phuong, of the city police, at yesterday’s conference of criminal police forces across the country.
The arrest resulted from a police investigation that was launched after Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper published an article on November 16 exposing a reality that many villains have disguised themselves as bus drivers and driver assistants to rob passengers for years in broad daylight.
The city police said they are hunting for the ninth suspect of the case.
As shown in the article, those villains formed a team of around ten robbers who are either drug addicts or have recently finished jail terms.
They have used three passenger buses that appear outdated and ragged, and often park them around the Mien Tay (Western) Bus Station in Binh Tan District to pick up passengers illegally.
Their buses are numbered 53M-2817, 54S-6445, and 51B-05049, according to a Tuoi Tre probe.
They mainly targeted elderly, female and slightly built passengers who would be unlikely to resist.
They used weapons including knives and steel tubes to threaten or assault any passengers who resisted them.
Their victims were mostly innocent people who rarely travel to cities.
The ring was even aided by taxi motorbike drivers who are given tips to carry passengers to them.
To avoid being busted, the robbers searched for and seized all mobile phones and any other objects able to take pictures and record sounds.
The ring committed six or seven robberies every day, pocketing dozens of millions of dong (VND10 million = $451).