Two Peruvian sentenced to prison for stealing from foreigners

A court in Hanoi on June 24 handed down prison terms to two Peruvian men for stealing from foreigners who stayed in luxury hotels in the capital city in January.

The Hanoi People's Court sentenced William Rafael Aguilar Villanueva, 43, to 9 months imprisonment and Jose Marcelino Velasquez Aviles, 62, 7 months.

The duo will be expelled from Vietnam after serving time.

According to the indictment, Villanueva met Aviles when they were applying for visa to Vietnam in Cambodia.
They exchanged phone numbers and agreed to team up steal from guests at luxury hotels in Hanoi.

In Hanoi, they stayed at two different motels several kilometers apart but contacted each other on phones and traveled together by taxi or hired motorbike.

The duo often looked for potential victims at breakfast buffet area at luxury hotels. They carried along bags and coats to cover stolen property, mostly purses, cameras and cell phones.

They were arrested on January 8 when they were attempting to sell an iPad they had stolen from a Canadian citizen.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ngo Van Dap said the police began investigating after some hotels lodged a series of complaints about their guests being targeted by foreign thieves.