Police in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong have arrested a group of suspects for appropriating nearly VND20 billion (US$860,000) of goods meant for export from multiple container trucks.
The provincial Department of Police, in coordination with the Ministry of Public Security, confirmed on Thursday that they had apprehended and initiated legal proceedings against nine thieves, aged between 25 and 51 years old, for the crime.
According to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Xuan Hau, a Binh Duong police official, officers first became aware of the case after receiving reports from local businesses with outsourcing contracts with famous shoe and clothing brands.
The victims said many of their finished products, all of which were meant to be exported to partners in foreign countries, had gone missing.
|Multiple products are caught being stolen from a truck. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
They later discovered that the goods had been stolen from container trucks on their way from the factories to seaports.
Investigators had their first lead following an arrest of three suspects for stealing 2,700 PUMA shoes worth nearly VND800 million ($34,400) in early October.
The investigation was later expanded and several other individuals were arrested.
Preliminary information from the case showed that the suspects had faked documents to pose as truck drivers.
|An officer examines a pair of shoes stolen by the suspects. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
These drivers then earned enough trust from the businesses to be tasked with transporting the goods, during which they and other ring members stole the shipments.
About 12,500 shoes and 20,000 shirts produced for popular global brands were confiscated.
Losses from the crimes are estimated at up to VND19 billion ($817,000), officers stated.
Colonel Le Ngoc Phuong, deputy head of the criminal police division under the Ministry of Public Security, asserted that the crime has negatively affected the credibility of Vietnamese firms as well as the country’s business environment.
Companies should raise alert to protect their products and their own reputation, said Col. Phuong.