The Ho Chi Minh City police Tuesday arrested a four-member gang for allegedly stealing thousands of Nike shoes worth billions of dong from a factory they worked for.
Phan Cong Thinh, 28, was caught red-handed Tuesday afternoon at the Freetrend Industrial VN Company, a contract manufacturer, sneaking out with 10 pairs of shoes.
Two others, Nguyen Thi Dieu, 43, the ring leader, and Tran Thi Lan, 39, were arrested later following Thinh’s confession.
The last one to be arrested, on the same day, was Nguyen Hoang Dat, 45, who buys all the stolen shoes from the trio and sells for a profit.
Searching the suspects’ houses, authorities discovered hundreds of shoes and shoe parts like soles, laces and stamps.
Police said Lan, a team leader at the factory, had persuaded several other workers to steal finished shoes, while Dieu and Thinh carried them out of the factory.
A combined photo of three members of a gang allegedly stealing Nike products at some garment plants making Nike clothes in Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Le.
The gang also operated at garment plants making Nike clothes across the country -- Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Hanoi, Hai Phong -- stealing hundreds of pieces every day, investigators said.
The police said the shoe parts and clothing were usually hidden around their middle by women workers so that security guards did not spot them. They were then hidden beneath trucks carrying materials and transported out of the plant.
The police said they are investigating, looking for more possible accomplices.