Police in Binh Duong Province announced the arrest of 191 "hooligans" on Wednesday.
The individuals stand accused of inciting factory workers at a demonstration against China's actions in the East Sea to damage property belonging to foreign-invested firms throughout the Ho Chi Minh City's neighboring province.
The police said that, as of 3 am on Wednesday, 460 companies in Thu Dau Mot Town, Di An, Thuan An, Ben Cat and Tan Uyen municipalities and Bac Tan Uyen District had been infiltrated by vandals.
As many as 15 companies had their warehouses set ablaze, causing billions of dong in losses and leaving thousands of workers at risk of losing their jobs.
More than 10 cars belonging to the companies were also set ablaze by the hooligans.
Police said 120 of the 191 hooligans were arrested in Thuan An and they had quelled violence in Thu Dau Mot, Tan Uyen and Ben Cat.
However, some of the hooligans remain at large in Thuan An and Di An and are setting fire to warehouses and inciting disorder.
On Tuesday morning thousands of workers staged a demonstration in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP 1) in Thuan An. The workers waved banners and Vietnamese national flags to protest China’s deployment of a giant drilling rig into their nation's territorial waters.
The demonstration began peacefully but turned violent at noon when a number of individuals broke into industrial campuses and demanded that company leaders allow their workers to stop working and join the protest.
The rally reached around 19,000 workers in total at which point, it split into groups and flooded into industrial parks in Di An, Thuan An, Tan Uyen and Ben Cat, where the crowds continued to incite other workers to stop working and join the demonstration.
A number of people incited the workers to destroy company property. Some took advantage of the chaos to loot, commit arson and assault security guards
Binh Duong police are working with police in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh and the Ministry of Public Security to suppress possible riots.
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