Highway robbery: cargo thieves running rampant in Vietnam

TN News

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The Ministry of Public Security said at a recent meeting that container trucks are being robbed at an increasing rate, causing businesses losses and tainted reputations for delivering empty cargoes.

Special investigations conducted over the first nine months this year revealed 62 thieveries costing companies hundreds of billions of dong.

Some stolen cargoes were exported and sometimes losses were not discovered until foreign customers called and complained.

The police have detained seven truck drivers for allegedly colluding with others to steal the cargos.

The drivers used fake names to apply for contracts and abandoned each business they victimized after a major theft. 

Pham Ngoc Hieu stole 7.4 tons of chicken legs worth more than VND220 million from a container to be delivered to the nearby Quang Ninh Province last August.

He also stole a cargo worth VND1.2 billion from a different business in April.

Nguyen Manh Hoa, 28, stole VND800 million of dried bananas from a northern company before fleeing for Ho Chi Minh City in September.

General Nguyen Phuc Thuan, head of the department that manages road crimes, said container truck theft has become an "alarming" problem over the past three years as it increased both in terms of frequency and location.

The number of cases was 37 in 2010 and 52 in 2011.

But Thuan said those figures were incomplete, as many victims did not report being robbed.

He said the crime has expanded and that while it used to be occur only at major industrial areas such as Ho Chi Minh City and the nearby Binh Duong and Dong Nai Provinces, the problem has spread to other cities and provinces.


Thuan said the criminals are aware that the demand for licensed truck drivers is heftier than the supply, so they forged licenses knowing that businesses were desperate.

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