Inside job: 5 jailed in southern Vietnam for stealing Nike shoes from container trucks

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Nguyen An Binh (standing), 25, former driver of Minh Phuong company, and his accomplices at the court in Ho Chi Minh City Monday. They were sentenced to between seven and 15 years in prison for stealing shoes worth VND5.3 billion meant for exports while transporting them in April 2012. PHOTO: TUOI TRE 

A Ho Chi Minh City court Monday sentenced five men to up to 15 years in prison for stealing Nike shoes that were being transported for export last year, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

Drivers Hoang Van Duong, 29, and Nguyen An Binh, 25, and assistant driver Hoang Dinh Bien, 25, of freight forwarder Minh Phuong company drove container trucks from Damco company's depot in Binh Duong Province to Cat Lai Port in HCMC.

In April last year, while driving to the port, they stopped at the parking lot of Saigon Brick and Tile JSC in HCMC on two occasions to cut open the container's roof to steal shoes.

Nguyen Huy Dung, 48, who worked there as a secutiry guard, helped them steal 1,026 pairs of shoes worth VND2.48 billion (US$117,480) on April 18 and 1,452 pairs worth around VND2.84 billion three days later.

They would later weld the container roof and deliver it at the port.

They sold the first lot to Dinh Quy Tuan, 39, for a mere VND200 million.

Duong took VND98 million while Binh got VND85 million, Bien got VND15 million, and Dung got VND2 million.

All five were caught by the police when loading the shoes on a truck Tuan had brought on the second occasion.

Tuan had also provided the drivers with tools to cut and weld the metal and white paint to cover their tracks. 

Each pair of stolen shoes was worth VND2.4-2.8 million, but the gang sold it at VND170,000-200,000.

The HCMC People's Court gave 15 years each to Duong and Binh, and 12, 11, and seven years respectively to Tuan, Bien and Dung.

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