The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court sentenced a beauty queen to seven years in jail Tuesday for stealing a Rolex watch worth VND2 billion (US$84,600) from her boyfriend.
La Thi Anh, 32, who won the 2018 Miss Viet Nam Continents pageant in the U.S. while studying at the New York Film Academy, and her boyfriend, Tuan, 25, got to know each other online.
In August 2021 she spent a night at his house in HCMC when he showed her his luxury watch collection, including a Rolex Daytona.
Anh, then suffering losses and debts due to investment in the foreign exchange market, hatched a plan to steal the Rolex.
She took photos of the watch and sent it to a friend name To Van Toan to buy a fake that looked like it.
He told her he had found one in Hanoi that cost VND13.5 million.
Anh bought and fetched the fake two weeks later and switched it at her boyfriend’s house.
She then asked Toan to help her sell the real watch without telling him about her theft.
When he asked her about its origin and documents, she said it was hers and she had left the papers in the U.S.
The authentic Rolex (R) and the fake one that was swapped by La Thi Anh. Photo by police
Toan used his connections to scour for a buyer, and one of them posted photos of the watch on Facebook.
Meanwhile, a few days later after the theft, Tuan found out his Rolex had been switched while cleaning his watches. He reported to the police who tracked down Anh from the Facebook posts.
Toan and his connections were ruled innocent by the courtsince they were not aware of the crime.
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