13 arrested for posing as sex workers, masseuses to rob foreign tourists
The Ho Chi Minh City police said Sunday they have arrested 13 people, most of them women, for allegedly tricking foreign tourists into hotels and robbing them.
The eight women members of the gang would target Asian tourists walking around the city, lure them into nearby hotels offering sex or massage, and inform their male accomplices, who would burst in rob them, according to the police.
The gang, led by four women -- Tran Thi My Linh, 41, Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, 27, Duong Thi Thu Hien, 45, and Nguyen Thi Tuyet Nhung, 42 -- told the police it targeted Asian tourists since they do not normally report such cases to authorities for fear of embarrassment.
The police said they began to keep tabs on the gang earlier this month after getting a complaint from an unnamed Thai tourist, 52.
He had told them that a woman offered a massage when he was walking in Binh Hung Commune in Binh Chanh District on December 5. He then rented a room at a nearby hotel. When he was lying on the bed, five men came in, subdued him, and took his necklace, smartphone and money worth US$4,400 before fleeing along with “the masseuse.”
On the night of December 17 the police found Linh, Tuyen, Huyen, and Nhung persuading four Indian tourists to go with them to a hotel in Binh Chanh by taxi.
The women and their accomplices were arrested as they tried to run out of the hotel with $222 and some other things they had stolen from the foreigners.
The gang is suspected of carrying out such robberies for months.
Investigations are continuing.