Vietnamese nationals accused of swiping thousands of cosmetic items and medicines.

Japan’s Fukuoka District Court has begun the trial of a 30-year-old Vietnamese woman who originally came to the country on a technical trainee visa. She stands accused of drugstore shoplifting, with the merchandise she took primarily being cosmetics, medicine, and clothing items.

She’s not suspected of just a single robbery, either. Investigators say that during 2018, she committed 38 counts of shoplifting in Fukui, Mie, Aichi, and Mie Prefectures, pilfering a total of 2,229 items worth roughly 6.48 million yen (US$58,400). The police say she would enter the store with a large shoulder bag, sometimes stuffing it with as many as 150 items in a single run.

But even those startling numbers pale in comparison to the ones investigators give for the woman’s associates. The police claim the woman was part of a group of six Vietnamese nationals who had come to Japan for technical training programs, the five others all being men between the ages of 24 and 28. Collectively, the group is suspected of 109 counts of shoplifting across eight prefectures, once again with drugstore cosmetics and medicine as their primary targets, with their total hall calculated at 2,229 items worth 12.58 million yen (US$113.300). After the thefts, police say, the group would then attempt to resell the items to prospective customers, primarily Vietnamese social media users.

While the incredibly large number of items the woman is accused of stealing may make her seem worthy of master thief status, she was also arrested multiple times for shoplifting in 2018, three times in Fukui, and three times in Fukuoka. Considering that she’s also been found to have overstayed her visa without acquiring any other sort of Japanese residency permit, it’s likely that regardless of the verdict regarding her shoplifting charges, she faces deportation once the trial is over.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Fukui Shimbun Online via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
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