SEOUL, April 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Fifteen people, including a Vietnamese illegal immigrant, have been arrested for stealing mobile phones and smuggling them into Vietnam, officials said Sunday.
The Vietnamese, who has been detained in the face of a prosecutors’ probe, is suspected of buying stolen mobile phones for as little as 200,000 won (US$156) and reaping around 18 million won in profits by smuggling them into Vietnam between July 2021 and March this year, according to the Seoul Subway Police.
Police also detained eight others on charges of stealing and selling the phones to the Vietnamese national, and referred them to the prosecution.
To reset the stolen devices in order to sell them, police said the suspects sent text messages to the owners of the phones, saying they had found the lost phones and provided a link to a map of the phone’s current location, and asked them to enter their log-in information to view the map.
The phones that were reset were then smuggled into Vietnam through retail traders and export agencies.
Most of the phones were stolen from drunk passengers on the subway.