Robbers prey on foreign tourists in Ho Chi Minh City downtown: police

By Tan Phu, Thanh Nien News

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Ho Chi Minh City officials apologize to Egyptian tourist Alaa Mohammad Abdu Ali Aldoh (R) over a street robbery on March 16, 2016. Photo: Le Tan 
Police in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on Friday said that foreigners are the main target of criminals and promised they will strengthen security.
Colonel Nguyen Tan Dat, the district's police chief, told a meeting on Friday that eight out of 17 victims of robberies in the first quarter were foreigners.
“This is a big problem,” Dat said, adding that foreign tourists usually left the city soon after reporting the robberies, making investigation difficult.
He suggested the city recruit more crime police officers, saying the criminal police unit "has worked effectively."
Tran The Thuan, chairman of District 1, said the militia teams, equipped with motorcycles and cameras, will patrol regularly across the district starting March 28.
At the meeting, Dat also warned about illegal taxi services. He said many drivers reportedly drove away with passengers’ baggage immediately after they get off the cabs, or without giving back the change.
Earlier this month, Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of HCMC People’s Committee, said the city are taking measures to tackle crimes, especially robberies.
Leaders of districts where robberies happen frequently will be punished, he said.
Phong also said the city is planning to set up a special police unit to protect tourists, adding the unit will be managed by the Department of Tourism and trained by the city police.

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