Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested five people in a gang that has allegedly staged traffic crashes to rob many victims.
Nguyen Thi Thao, 58, and four of her accomplices were arrested on January 21 while they were looking for preys near the corner of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Ly Thai To.
Earlier the same day, they had managed to rob a man of VND13.7 million (US$612).
Initial investigation found that the victim, Do Duc Hai, was carrying the money to his company in District 3.
When he was on Ban Co Street, some members of the gang on motorbikes reportedly tried to stop and rob him.
Hai quickly jumped off his bike to fight against the robbers but another man crashed his motorbike straight into him.
The gang then fled with his money.
A video capturing the scene was soon later posted on social media, prompting the police to launch an investigation.
Investigators quickly identified Thao as the gang leader. Police arrested her and four other members, but two more suspects are still at large.
According to police, her gang has been involved in many robbery cases by staging similar minor crashes across the city.
They said Thao, who often used pregnancy to avoid serving jail sentences, has nine children.
The video depicting the brutal scene has spurred a lot of chatter online, with many people criticizing the lack of help for the victim.
“I was at a crowded section and shouted very loud but people just stood there and watched. If they had helped, I would have been able to arrest all of them,” said Hai, who works at a security company.
A witness said many people were intimidated by the masked, hostile robbers.