Venezuelan ambassador helps Argentine counterpart retrieve stolen phone

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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 8.

Vietnamese police have arrested the man who stole the cell phone of Argentine ambassador Alberto Jaime Kaminker thanks to a photo supplied by the Venezuelan ambassador, Jorge Rondon Uzcategui.

The ambassadors were visiting the Hue Festival in Thua Thien-Hue Province on April 8 and reported to Hue Town police after Kaminker realized he had lost his cell phone.

Luckily, 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 duo of Latin American ambassadors brought the photo to Ngo Hoa, the provincial vice mayor who chaired the organizing board for the Hue Festival. Hoa ordered a police investigation, which resulted in an arrest the very next day.

The man Uzcategui had captured in his photo turned out to be Nguyen Van Oc, 46, originally from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

A raid of Oc's home produced five cell phones and a wallet containing VND4 million, €110 and US$18. He later admitted to stealing the phones and money from festival visitors.

Investigators returned the phone to the Argentine ambassador.

Police called Oc a "professional" pickpocket and they are investigating whether he had any accomplices.

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