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CIB busts crime ring led by Vietnamese man

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday busted a crime ring and arrested five suspects including a Vietnamese leader surnamed Ngo in Beidou Township of Changhua County, adding that the suspects were later transferred to the district prosecutors office over allegations of robbery.

The CIB said a Vietnamese restaurant in Beidou Township was robbed this February by six individuals wearing baseball caps and masks.

The six suspects — who spoke Vietnamese to one another — allegedly wielded pistols and large knives to threaten the owner of the restaurant and customers, the CIB said, noting that the suspects allegedly pistol-whipped victims before covering their heads with blankets.

The CIB said the suspects allegedly gained over NT$800,000 from the victims, including NT$560,000 in cash, phones and necklaces, noting that the suspects later escaped the crime scene by taking a previously arranged taxi with no license plate.

Given that the owner of the restaurant had just taken NT$180,000 to the restaurant prior to being robbed, the police officers suspected that the robbery was planned in advance, the CIB said.

The bureau went on to say that investigators currently suspect that a man surnamed Nguyen — who was one of the customers in the restaurant when the robbery took place — was also involved.

The CIB further said that security camera records show that Nguyen wandered around the restaurant with other suspects the day before the robbery.

The bureau said it discovered that the members of the crime ring are Vietnamese workers whose work permits for Taiwan have expired, noting that these suspects took part-time jobs together and allegedly committed robberies randomly.

The CIB followed several leads in searching for the suspects in Miaoli County, Taichung City, Changhua County and Kaohsiung City, noting that not only did the investigators arrest the suspects, including Ngo, they also discovered the weapons and stolen goods.

The CIB said that while it investigated the robbery, it also uncovered more criminal activity involving phone scams. The bureau said one of the suspects, surnamed Chen, allegedly set up a commuter facility room in Taichung and demanded that his accomplices conduct phone scams to Vietnam via computers. The CIB is currently investigating the case.

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Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) officers escort suspects of an alleged robbery case to a district prosecutors' office for further investigation at the CIB office building in Taichung City yesterday. (CNA)

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