Gold shop owner staged robbery: police

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A gold shop owner in central Vietnam had staged a robbery last week in a bid to avoid repaying gold loans she had borrowed from customers, investigators said.

The case happened on October 21 at the Tin Huy gold shop in Quang Ngai Province's Binh Son District.

The shop owner, 41-year-old Nguyen Thi Thuy, claimed that a man wearing a face mask (normally used by motorbike riders in Vietnam to guard against pollution) and a helmet asked to buy half a tael of gold.

She said she talked with the "man wearing a green shirt" for some time before she suddenly lost consciousness. The camera shows Thuy taking about 100 taels of gold and money from the shop's safe to give to the man.

Her husband, Le Duc, found her unconscious and the jewelry gone when he brought their child home from school, and reported the theft to the police.

Thuy told the police that she was trembling and sweating before she fell unconscious.


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A still from a video clip of the fake robbery caught by a surveillance camera

The case was reported widely on local media, prompting speculations that the robber was a hypnotist or that he had used some anesthetic.

However, investigators on October 24 announced that they'd found Thuy had staged the robbery to avoid repaying gold loans that she'd taken.

The man in green shirt is actually her cousin Ngo Quang Truong, 22, whose help she enlisted, they said.

Truong has confessed that he brought the "robbed" gold and money to Thuy's grandfather and hid it there as asked by Thuy.

An investigation by Thanh Nien found Thuy had borrowed gold from local residents but was unable to repay it following a price hike.

Binh Son District police said they are looking to identify who had lent the gold to Thuy.

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