Three transgender women stand trial for robbing foreign tourists in Da Nang on Thursday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong
A Da Nang court sentenced three transgender women to varying prison terms on Thursday for stealing phones and cash from foreign tourists.
Nguyen Ngoc Thien, 22, received three-and-a-half-year jail sentence, Nguyen Huu Chanh, 25, two and a half years, and Dang Hoang Kiet, 29, one and a half years.
According to the indictment, the three suspects were transgender women from Ho Chi Minh City, who stayed in Da Nang in a hotel and roamed the city’s streets on motorbikes looking for foreign tourists to steal from.
They flirted with the tourists and offered sexual services to distract them and steal their phones.
Police officers detained the trio on July 17 last year after a 33-year-old Indian tourist, Vijay Kumar, reported that his phone was stolen by a transgender woman. The woman flirted with him, took an iPhone X out of his pocket while he was distracted, and fled on an accomplice’s motorbike, he said.
Police investigated the case and caught Kiet and Thien, who had stolen Kumar’s phone. The two admitted to their crime and identified Chanh as an accomplice.
The trio later confessed to 13 instances of theft between July 9-13, including three involving South Korean tourists, the biggest contingent of foreign visitors to Da Nang.
Police later seized two motorbikes, 19 stolen mobile phones worth VND62 million ($2,676), a wig and over $2,000 in cash from the trio’s hotel rooms.
Da Nang, Vietnam’s third largest city, is a leading holiday destination for international visitors, with 2.87 million arrivals last year, a 23.3 percent increase year-on-year.