Urbanist Hanoi

Back Stories » Vietnam » After Losing World Cup Bets, Saigon Man Steals Ambulance, Runs Away, Gets Arrested

After Losing World Cup Bets, Saigon Man Steals Ambulance, Runs Away, Gets Arrested

Vietnam is in the middle of a delirious World Cup fever, resulting in a slew of shenanigans and hijinks.

Tuoi Tre reports that on June 26, the Binh Tan Police Department in Saigon arrested a man for attempting to steal an ambulance. The culprit was identified as 38-year-old Nguyen Minh Ho, an An Giang Province native who’s been homeless in Saigon for the past weeks.

Initial police reports state that Ho lost some World Cup bets in An Giang recently and ran away from home to wander in Ho Chi Minh City. Around 5:15am on Sunday, June 24, he went into the canteen of Trieu An Hospital on Kinh Duong Vuong Street in Binh Tan District to ask for food.

Walking past the hospital parking lot, Ho spotted an ambulance with the key still in the ignition and decided to steal the vehicle to pawn off later to pay for his debts. Had the man succeeded with the plan, he would have made VND320 million (around US$14,000) from the ambulance, according to Tuoi Tre.

Unfortunate for Ho, an ambulance is not exactly the most inconspicuous vehicle to steal. He made it to the toll booth on the HCMC—Trung Luong Expressway when a toll officer noticed his suspicious demeanor and called the police. The Trung Luong Expressway links Saigon with Tien Giang Province and then, a host of other localities in the Mekong Delta.

Ho tried to escape but was arrested by the local police who then delivered him to the Binh Tan Police Department.

Earlier this month, Vietnam officially legalized sports betting after an updated version of the Law in Sports and Physical Activity was passed on June 14. However, locals are still prohibited from betting on World Cup matches as the new law will only take effect in January 2019.

[Photo via Lao Dong]

Related Articles:

Hanoi Shop Owner Covers Illegally Parked Car in Sanitary Pads, Goes Viral

- Vietnam Passes Bill That Legalizes Sports Betting

- Hanoi FC Matches V-League’s Record Unbeaten Run With Victory Over Quang Nam