Workers at a steel mill project owned by Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group in Ha Tinh Province stage an anti-China protest (which later erupted in violence) on May 14, 2014
Police in the north-central province of Ha Tinh arrested three workers at a Taiwanese steel mill, Tuesday, for allegedly stealing property from a warehouse during a violent brawl at a construction site, VnExpress reported.
The suspects, Nguyen Dinh Nga, 34, Nguyen Trong Anh, 37, and Luu Dinh Hoai, 29, were allegedly caught with five laptops, a washing machine and a camera they allegedly stole from the site of a future steel mill.
Police have charged the trio with looting a warehouse during a brawl that left two Chinese workers dead and 149 others, both Vietnamese and Chinese, injured, on May 14.
The violence erupted after construction workers at the site of a future steel mill owned by Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Group in Vung Ang Economic Zone peacefully protested China’s recent positioning of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters.
About 5,000 Vietnamese and 1,000 Chinese workers joined the brawl, after a rumor reportedly spread through the crowd that a Vietnamese worker had been beaten to death.
During the fight, three temporary dormitories were set on fire and looting took place.
On Wednesday, Ha Tinh authorities transferred property looted during the brawl to local police.
The returned property included 31 computers, 15 welding machines, 11 motorbikes, a number of air conditioners, refrigerators, drills and tons of steel.
The police say they're still searching for looters in order to seize the stolen items and return them to the company.
Ha Tinh police have so far arrested more than 80 people, of whom 24 are being investigated on charges of “causing public disorder” and “robbery.”
As tensions flared over China's aggression in the East Sea, Vietnamese have held anti-China rallies across the country and the world.
Some of them turned violent on May 13 when rioters looted, burned and vandalized the factories and offices of hundreds of foreign companies.
The two days of rioting prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to order officials at every level of the government to tighten security for foreign investors, prevent further riots, and punish violators.
Over 1,000 people have been arrested for rioting in central and southern Vietnam.
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