Mekong Delta man gets 2 years for picking diplomat's pocket

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The photo taken by Venezuelan ambassador Jorge Rondon Uzcategui, which caught Nguyen Van Oc (in circle) red-handed as he stole Argentine ambassador Alberto Jaime Kaminker's cell phone at the Hue Festival on April 9.

A court in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on Wednesday sentenced a man to two years in prison for pickpocketing an Argentine diplomat at a festival four months ago, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

Nguyen Van Oc, 56, of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho was charged with "robbery."

On April 9, Oc stole a mobile phone from the pocket of Argentine ambassador to Vietnam Alberto Jaime Kaminker while the latter was watching a street carnival at the 2012 Hue Festival.

After Kaminker reported the loss to Hue City police, his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Rondon Uzcategui remembered that earlier in the day he had taken a photo which happened to capture a particular detail there was a man standing between Kaminker and his wife.

A quick check of Uzcategui's photos confirmed that the Venezuelan ambassador had inadvertently caught a pickpocket red-handed.

In the picture, the man standing next to Kaminker uses his right hand to take the phone from a pocket attached to the ambassador's belt, as his left hand holds a camera over the action to hide the theft in process.

The Latin American ambassadors provided the photo to Ngo Hoa, the provincial deputy mayor who chaired the organizing board for the Hue Festival. Hoa ordered a police investigation, which resulted in an arrest the very next day.

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The man Uzcategui had captured in his photo was Oc.

A raid of Oc's home produced five cell phones and a wallet containing dong, euro and dollar bank notes He later admitted to stealing the phones and money from some festival visitors.

Investigators returned the phone to the Argentine ambassador.

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