illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi police on April 4 officially launched an investigation into a robbery gang which was allegedly responsible for 13 theft cases in Vietnam and detained five Colombian nationals involved.

The arrested are Fabian Lucero Wilches (born in 1982), Jose Aureliano Rosa Pena (born in 1962), Jersain Ladino Cardona (born in 1966), Carlos Alberto Lamprea Pena (born in 1970), and Rodricuez Cuervo Luis Alexander (born in 1977).

Fabian Lucero Wilches, the ringleader, confessed that from 2014, they entered more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe and South America and carried out over 100 theft cases. They stole nearly 10 billion VND (440,600 USD) in 13 cases in Vietnam alone.

The latest case in Vietnam occurred on March 28 when Hanoi police received a report that a resident in Phuong Liet ward of Thanh Xuan district lost 1.6 billion VND (nearly 70,500 USD) while his car stopped on Xa Dan street.

Preliminary investigation found that four foreigners followed the victim after he withdrew money from the Thanh Xuan branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV). One of the foreigners opened the rear door of the car when it stopped at the traffic light on Xa Dan street and stole the money which was left behind the driver’s seat.

Their identities and trick were found to be similar to a case that occurred on Hang Tre street of Hoan Kiem district on February 22 in which 1.7 billion VND (74,900 USD) on a private car was stolen.

Pieces of information regarding a professional robbers gang of Colombians entering Vietnam from Laos and Cambodia as tourists led police to make a search of the rented accommodation of some suspects in the Ciputra residential area in Bac Tu Liem district on March 30, seizing 400 million VND (over 17,600 USD) from Jersain Ladino Cardona and 390.05 million VND (17,180 USD) from Carlos Alberto Lamprea Pena.

They admitted that the money was stolen from the resident in Phuong Liet ward of Thanh Xuan district.

On April 1, police of Hanoi and Gio Linh district of central Quang Tri province arrested the ringleader Fabian Lucero Wilches and Jose Aureliano Rosa Pena. Nearly 800 million VND (over 35,200 USD) which still bore the seal of BIDV Thanh Xuan, along with 2,000 USD, was also confiscated.

The same day, Rodricuez Cuervo Luis Alexander, Wilches’s accomplice who directly engaged in the theft on Hang Tre street, was detained at the Cau Treo International Border Gate in central Ha Tinh province.

Hanoi police are coordinating with Interpol and police of many other countries and territories to conduct further investigation.-VNA