Kawaguchi, Japan. Photo: Wikipedia.
Kawaguchi, Japan. Photo: Wikipedia.

Three Vietnamese non-permanent residents were arrested for alleged involvement in a shoplifting ring after 1,700 stolen items were found in their apartment in Kawaguchi, a city in Saitama prefecture, Japan.

In a recent operation, police from Ishikawa prefecture raided an apartment that belongs to Pham Trong Ha, 26, and allegedly uncovered the shoplifted items, about 300 of which were medicines and cosmetics, VN Express reported, citing a Monday report published by Japan’s Sankei newspaper. The police arrested two more suspects in the apartment.

The arrested trio allegedly admitted to the police that most of the items found in the apartment had been shoplifted.

In May, Ishikawa police arrested an unnamed Vietnamese shoplifter, who then provided the address of Pham’s apartment, which was used as a storage hub for goods stolen by other Vietnamese shoplifting groups in Japan. The goods would be shipped for sale in Vietnam.

According to a report from Kyodo News, Vietnamese expatriates committed more crimes than other foreign non-permanent residents in Japan last year. A total of 5,140 crimes were committed by Vietnamese people last year, up from 3,177 in 2016, accounting for about 30% of the total number of crimes committed by foreigners.

In Japan, the number of Vietnamese people had grown more than sixfold to 260,000 at the end of 2017 from 2008, compared with 260,000 Filipinos and 700,000 Koreans.