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Khanh Hoa police investigating $660,000 ATM robbery

Update: April, 01/2015 - 21:43
The two Vietcombank ATMs, located adjacent to the Thanh T-Junction Post Office in Dien Khanh Town, Khanh Hoa Province, which were reportedly robbed on Sunday. — Photo

KHANH HOA (VNS) — Police in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa said they were investigating the two burglaries allegedly committed by foreigners at ATMs in the Dien Khanh Town.

Initial investigations pointed towards a group of foreigners seen use wielding devices to break the money boxes at the two ATMs owned by Vietcombank (Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam) located near the Thanh T-Junction post office. The robbers were able to escape with a loot worth VND1.4 billion (US$ 650,000) on Sunday.

The provincial police said on Tuesday that the suspects had reportedly cut a steel window on the first floor of the post office and managed to climb down to the ground floor. There, they had broken another lock on the ground floor, as well as the lock of the back entrance to the ATM booth.

"The four suspects, allegedly foreigners, have used a novel and daring method to commit the theft," Major General Tran Ngoc Khanh, head of the Khanh Hoa Province Police, said.

"Previously, foreign offenders used to employ hi-tech methods to steal passwords or fake cards to illegally withdraw money from ATMs. But in this case, the group had simply used a welding machine to steal the money," Thanh said.

Local xe om (motorbike taxi) driver Nguyen Van Nhat, who usually works in the vicinity of the post office, said that around 3am on Sunday he had heard strange sounds emanating from the direction of the post office, where he was waiting to pick up clients. He had reportedly seen three people, of tall and strong build, open the Post Office's auxiliary door, jumping into a car and driving towards the National Highway 1 heading south.

"A few seconds later, another foreigner, about 1.9 metres tall, had also exited from the post office and sped off on a motorbike in the same direction," the eyewitness said.

"Some other xe om drivers and I tried to chase them, but couldn't follow in their footsteps. What we are sure of is that the fourth man was riding a Nouvo motorbike, with a number plate registered in Khanh Hoa, although it was partially covered by sticking plaster."

On Tuesday, Vietcombank confirmed the robberies and said it was working with the relevant authorities to investigate the case. — VNS

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