Curious people surround a car of a foreign couple suspected of stealing money from an eateries in Ba Ria City on Thursday. Photo: Nhi Gia
A foreigner is in police custody in southern Vietnam after he was accused by some local shop owners of stealing their money by pretending to exchange money.
The man, identified by the police as Iranian national Mahmood Khadem Poshteh, was caught Thursday by an eatery owner in Ba Ria City, who accused him of robbing her money and attempting to flee in a car.
A woman and a little girl, who were traveling with Mahmood in his car, are also kept at the city police office.
Nguyen Thi Nghia, who runs an eatery in the city, said the man arrived on Thursday afternoon to buy some snack and soft drink. He gave her her two VND200,000 notes and one VND100,000 note to exchange for a VND500,000 note.
Nghia, 44, said Mahmood demanded that she find him a VND500,000 note with the letters “VN" in its serial number, so she took out a bundle of cash worth about VND36 million to find one for him.
The man suddenly “grabbed the money from me,” Nghia said. When she tried to take it back, Mahmood “knocked me down to the ground,” she said.
Nghia’s husband, Nguyen Van Tuan, chased the suspect, who ran back to the car with the money and tried to flee.
“I seized him by the collar, but he managed to reached the car, and [the woman] in the car already opened the door and started the car for him,“ Tuan said.
As the suspect tried to drive the car away, Tuan managed to grabbed hold of the steering wheel and drove the car into the wall of a church.
Other people in the neighbourhood surrounded the car and reported to the police.
A foreigner, identified as Iranian national Mahmood Khadem Poshteh, is suspected of stealing money from several shops in Ba Ria City. Photo: Nguyen Long
After news of the incident spread, a couple more shop owners came to the police and alleged that Mahmood had stolen money from them, using the same money exchange trick.
Chau Thi Nhen, a shop owner in Long Dien Dist, Ba Ria Vung Tau Province, said Mahmood stole about VND8 million from her, while Vu Van Hung, another shop owner in Ba Ria City, said Mahmood stole about VND14 million from him.
The police have not released any statement from him or the woman.
Investigation is on-going.