Vietnamese gold traders axed, electrocuted in street robbery

By Duc Huy, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Kim Dung from Phu Yen Province shows an injury from electroshock his wife Nguyen Thi Em earned from robbers May 13. The robbers took more than 53 ounces of gold from their motorbike. PHOTO: DUC HUY

Police in the south central province of Phu Yen are investigating a robbery of more than 53 ounces of gold from traders who said they were electrocuted and attacked them with axes.

Nguyen Kim Dung said at around 6 pm on Tuesday he and his wife Nguyen Thi Em, both 40, closed their shop and locked a bundle of gold and cash beneath their motorbike seat.
The couple then headed out for their 1.3 kilometer commute home down a semi-isolated road and couple crashed after three men on a motorbike came up behind them and electrocuted them with some sort of stun device.
Dung said he shouted for help and tried to hold onto his key so they couldn't open the bike's trunk when two men began hitting him with axes.
He was wearing a crash helmet and only suffered cuts to his arms.
“They took a bag hung around the handlebars and everything under the seat,” Dung said.
He said that included gold worth nearly VND1.3 billion (US$61,700) and VND140 million ($6,640) in cash.
Their gold shop has remained closed since most of their assets were lost, he said.
He said the robbers may have observed his routine for some time.
Several gold traders from the central ancient town Hue were robbed in a similar  fashion recently.
A Lao Dong report said Le Ha Hung Vo, 64, and his wife Nguyen Thi Yen, 63, were  driving home on April 20 when three men on a motorbike attacked Hung with electrical whip and made him fall.
The robbers threatened to slash Yen with a machete when she tried to recover the gold from the motorbike, which was worth some VND600 million ($28,470).
Yen said it's lucky that they did not notice the 15 ounces of gold worth VND540 million she hid in her body.
At least two other gold trading couples were victims of street robbery within a month before that. The unarmed robbers failed but the traders still suffered injuries as they fell on the street trying to protect their gold.

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