Power engineer arrested as suspect in US$100k robbery at Vietcombank branch

A thermal power engineer has been arrested and identified as the suspect who robbed US$100,000 worth of USD and VND from a Vietcombank branch in the southern province of Tra Vinh last week, police said on May 6.

power engineer arrested as suspect in us$100k robbery at vietcombank branch hinh 0
The masked man who entered the bank in Duyen Hai District, threatening its tellers with an alleged gun before fleeing with the cash on April 27 is Le Lam Hung, 29, according to the Ministry of Public Security’s criminal investigative unit (C45).

“Hung is an engineer who is working at the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Plant in Tra Vinh,” C45 chief Ho Sy Tien confirmed on Saturday.

The suspect confessed to working alone in the robbery, where he left the bank with VND1.6 billion (US$70,000) in Vietnamese dong and over $30,000 in U.S. dollars.

Hung, who works at a project management unit at the thermal power plant, was arrested at workplace at around 2:00 pm on Saturday.

The 29-year-old graduate hails from the northern province of Hung Yen and has recently relocated to Tra Vinh to work on the project.

He confessed to hiding the stolen money right at his workplace.

Police said they found only US$35,900 in cash at his workplace, with Hung confessing to using VND1.5 billion (US$66,225) of the stolen money to repay betting debts.

The engineer said he had decided to rob a bank to have money to pay for a huge debt from losing on football betting.

He had carefully studied the Vietcombank branch in Duyen Hai for a while before carrying out the plot, using a fake gun bought from Ho Chi Minh City’s Kim Bien market and a black Yamaha Sirius motorbike borrowed from one of his close friends.

According to CCTV footage, Hung was wearing a hoodie and facemask when he entered the bank and used the firearm to threaten one of the tellers to open the safe to give him the cash.

Hung said he had decided to continue going to work as normal to dodge suspicion. Even so, it took Tra Vinh police only ten days to identify the suspect.