BAC LIEU — The southern Province of Bac Lieu Police on Thursday busted a shrimp-theft ring of 22 young people, including several workers and a former employee of a shrimp-processing factory in the province.
The Gia Rai District police arrested the 22 men involved in the thefts, after the Minh Anh Seafood Processing Company reported a mysterious loss of raw material shrimp stocked in the company's warehouse since the end of 2011.
The arrested include Vo Thanh Thai, 28, and Trinh Truong Giang, 24, leaders of the theft ring; Nguyen Van Hai, 28; Vo Van Vinh, 28; Nguyen Hoang Huan, 22; Tran Van Sang, 30; and others. Several of them were working at the company as the theft case was being conducted.
The company leaders said they could not trace the reason for the loss, although all video recorded by cameras in the factories had been screened carefully. They then petitioned help from the local police.
According to a representative of the company, 31 parcels, equal to 248kg of shrimp, went missing mysteriously on December 24, although they had followed strict procedures of importing and storing the materials.
Three days after the case, an additional 300kg was stolen. In December alone, the total amount of stolen shrimp at the company was reported at 1,200kg. But recorded videotapes did not show revealing details of any crime.
Thai, the theft ring leader, a former worker of the company, admitted that after quitting his job, he developed a relationship with Nguyen Hung Hoai, 23, a shrimp dealer in the district.
Thai talked to his friends, who still worked at the company, to take shrimp out of the factory so he could sell them to Hoai.
Before stealing the shrimp, the workers changed the direction of the security camera installed in the workshop.
Besides Minh Anh Company, the Bach Linh Seafood Processing Company, also located in the district, claimed the loss of two tonnes of shrimp material recently.
According to police, Duong Van Tuan, 22, masterminded the theft case. Tuan often met workers in the factory and planned the transport of the shrimp out of the factory.
Shrimp processing factories are not alone. Several farmers who breed shrimp have recently claimed that their shrimp was stolen, although they always kept a close eye on their farms to prevent theft. —VNS