Police announced on Tuesday that four Vietnamese people have been arrested for repeatedly shoplifting from Uniqlo and other clothing stores in Japan. The estimated losses from these thefts are around ¥20 million ($135,000).
During their visits to Japan between December 2018 and October 2023, the group is believed to have stolen 5,237 items, including sweaters and down jackets.
While Vietnam has Uniqlo stores operated by the Japanese company Fast Retailing, investigative sources suggest that the suspects targeted stores in Japan due to the prevalence of self-checkouts.
The group, consisting of two men, including 38-year-old Nguyen Hoang Anh, whose current address is unknown, and two women in their 30s and 40s, is suspected of involvement in 67 incidents across Tokyo and other areas, including Osaka and Fukuoka prefectures. Criminal cases have been built against them for two thefts and one instance of breaking and entering a house.
All four members of the group have confessed to the allegations, citing financial difficulties as their motive. The stolen items are suspected to have been sold through online marketplaces in Vietnam.
The Fukuoka Prefectural Police, which apprehended the suspects, have also obtained an arrest warrant for a woman in her 40s living in Vietnam, suspecting that she provided instructions to the group.