Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested a man accused of impersonating police officers and robbing at least seven foreign tourists.
Dang Tuan Thanh, 21, has admitted to the robberies, saying that he approached the victims and asked them to hand over their bags for investigation. He would then run away with the tourists' belongings.
Police said Thanh used to work as a xe om motorbike taxi driver in the city’s backpackers area, where he managed to learn English.
They have received reports from four victims since late last month.
In the latest case, Lee Sie Zan, a 31-year-old Malaysian tourist, was robbed on June 7 afternoon in District 7.
Zan said Thanh, in a police uniform, stopped him on Hung Gia Street before presenting a red card and asking to check his bag.
Then he fled with the bag, which contained a tablet and a cell phone worth around VND13 million.
Three other tourists from German, Japan and the US fell victims to similar tricks between May 26 and June 2, all in District 2.
An image supplied by a foreign tourist shows Dang Tuan Thanh on a motorbike. It helps the police identify him.
Police arrested Thanh last Friday at his rented house in District 7. They also seized many bags he robbed from tourists and a fake police card that said "Police Office on Drug Crime."
The man used the money for drugs, police said.
Vietnam’s tourism market has seen a strong recovery this year, with a 20 percent increase in foreign arrivals in the first five months. But the lack of security remains a big challenge to the industry.