Ho Chi Minh City police are investigating if two Hong Kong tourists were actually robbed as they claim, after the couple was sighted selling their photography on the street in order to pay for their daily expenses.
On December 14, netizens began spreading the story of the Hong Kong couple, known then only as Jay and Doris, who have been struggling to survive after being robbed of their possessions and passports by motorbike bag-snatchers.
Their tale and photographs, posted Wednesday on a blog, have engendered the sympathy of many netizens.
Doris and Kay say their bags with cash, credit cards and identity papers while were stolen from them as they walked on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District.
After reporting the robbery to the local police and making an appointment for a week later to see if they could retrieve their belongings, the duo went to District 1's Bui Vien Street known as the city's backpacker's area to sell photos for food.
A shop owner on Bui Vien Street confirmed that there were two tourists selling postcards and photos in front of their shop on Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
According to lieutenant colonel Le Dinh Dat of Binh Thanh District's Ward 21, the two tourists came to their station on December 13 and reported being robbed at the alley 160 off Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street.
They claimed that two robbers on a motorbike cut their bag straps and snatched them.
However, many people at the alley 160 said there was no robbery at their place on that day.
A Binh Thanh police official said ward police have relinquished the case to them for further investigation.
On December 12, Thanh Nien met the two tourists at the Nguyen Ngoc Phuong apartment building in Binh Thanh District's Ward 19. They identified themselves as Cheong Yen Kit and Leung Ka Kei, both 23 years old.
They asked Thanh Nien to take them to the Chinese Consulate General. There they were told that the procedure issue new passports required police confirmation of the robbery, which was unavailable.
The duo said they are a couple from Hong Kong on an around the world trip, which began in July. They said they have visited ten European countries and intended to stay in Vietnam for two weeks before heading to Cambodia and Laos.
The jobless couple has relied on making friends along the way who have helped provide accommodation; a man named Man hosted them at the HCMC apartment.
Notably, the duo said they have sold their own photos to cover spending during their journeys and having sold around ten photos in European countries for 3 euro each.
On December 15, District 1 police said they asked a local hotel to host them until they leave the country, while local residents found their identity, passing them along to Pham Ngu Lao's Ward police in District 1.