Nabbed Vietnamese Men May Be Involved in Serial Robberies in Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tochigi prefectural police HQ

UTSUNOMIYA, Tochigi (Jiji Press)—Japanese police are investigating possible links between recent serial robberies in the country’s mountainous areas and two Vietnamese men who have been arrested on other charges, according to investigative sources.

On Wednesday, the Tochigi prefectural police department arrested Hoang Huu Hoa, 25, who claims to be an interior decorator, on suspicion of attempted theft and Mai Van Sy, 23, an unemployed man who was with Hoang, for alleged illegal stay in Japan in violation of the immigration control law. Hoang denied the charges against him.

The department set up a joint investigation team with the Gunma and Nagano prefectural police departments to look into whether the two Vietnamese men were involved in the spate of robberies that targeted houses in sparsely populated mountainous areas of prefectures including Tochigi, Gunma and Nagano.

Hoang was arrested for allegedly attempting to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine at a convenience store in Sano, Tochigi, eastern Japan, using a cash card belonging to a man from Nikko in the same prefecture around 5 a.m. on April 30. The Nikko resident had his hands and feet tied up with neckties and was robbed of cash and a cash card by two men, believed to be foreigners, at his home around midnight on April 29.