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Child robber who attacked French tourist sentenced

Ho Chi Minh CityTruong Quoc Thinh, 18, was brought to trial after two years of attacking a French couple to grab their phones and commit a series of other robberies with accomplices.

On May 23, Thinh was sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Family and Juvenile Court (Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court). Rob and Property robbery. This is the highest sentence for a person under the age of 16 who commits a crime.

Having the same role as Thinh, Nguyen Chi Cuong, 19 years old, received 7 years and 6 months in prison for the crime Robbery. Five other defendants (17 to 21 years old) received four to six years in prison.

Regarding the case, many people have not been identified, so the investigation agency separates to handle it after being caught. Some others are assigned to family management because they are underage for criminal responsibility.

Defendant Thinh (far right) and accomplices in court.  Photo: Huong Thao

Defendant Thinh (far right) and accomplices in court. Image: Rosemary

In court, Thinh confessed that he had known Cuong, Phong and the defendants while wandering at the 23/9 Park since the age of 16. To have money to spend, Thinh invited the group to rob.

At noon on March 25, 2020, Thinh brought a knife to meet Phong (whose identity has not been determined) to September 23 Park to find “prey”. Discovering Ms. Reigger (French nationality) walking with her husband, Thinh got out of the car snatch the phone then run away. Being chased by the victim’s husband, the accused pulled out a knife and threatened, while Phong drove away in his car. At the same time, Thinh was attacked by the 363 patrol group in District 1.

Defendant Thinh testified that in the same way, he and Phong attacked and robbed many other foreign tourists’ phones while they were walking in the park.

Three days earlier, Thinh, Cuong and his accomplices discovered that Mr. Giang was drunk and collapsed on the side of the road in District 4, so he pulled a knife to his neck to control the victim to take a purse and then left. After retrieving 400,000 VND from his wallet, Thinh’s group returned to him and threatened to rob a motorbike. In addition, Thinh and Cuong’s group robbed 5 other cases but could not identify the victim.

The defense appointed Thinh, the lawyer said that the defendant’s parents divorced when he was two years old, now they have their own family. Thinh lives with his mother, but due to difficult circumstances, the mother has to work in many places and does not have time to pay attention to her children. Thinh dropped out of school in the third grade and wandered around, only to find out when he was sent to a reformatory.

“Even Thinh’s father doesn’t know what his son looks like because he hasn’t seen him for a long time. I was heartbroken when Thinh shared ‘I feel healthier and happier when I am in prison because I have enough food’. “, said the lawyer and asked the jury to consider mitigating the sentence for the accused.


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