Aspiring TV Star Robs Bank of $90,000 in 5 Minutes in Vietnam

bank heist

A woman who had dreams of becoming TV-famous ended up getting her wish after attempting to pull a bank heist in Vietnam.


Infamy and misfortune: Phung Thi Thang, 24, made local and international headlines this week after successfully robbing 2.1 billion Vietnamese Dong (over $90,600) from a Ho Chi Minh City bank in just five minutes, VN Express reports. 

  • On Oct. 10, Thang walked into the bank wearing a cap, a long-sleeve top and a face mask, according to AsiaOne.
  • She then placed a bag on a teller’s counter and threatened to detonate a bomb if they refused to hand her money. 
  • Thang immediately fled using the taxi she arrived in after a bank employee filled her bag with cash.
  • The firefighters responded to the potential bomb threat and police barricaded the area to protect civilians. 
  • It was later revealed that Thang’s bomb threat was a hoax.
  • Thang apparently created a fake bomb out of five small gas bottles, a petroleum bottle, an LED light string and a lighter.
  • Despite a change in attire to mislead authorities, Thang was still captured three hours after the robbery.

Aspiring star: Before getting media attention for her alleged crime, Thang made multiple attempts to get famous on local television. 

  • Local media reported how the woman joined numerous TV contests and game shows to become a celebrity.
  • However, she spent a lot of money in her bid to become famous. 
  • She would later tell police that she was forced to rob a bank after incurring a large amount of debt. 
  • Following her arrest, compilation footage of her previous TV appearances emerged on YouTube and began making rounds on social media.

Feature Image via SaigonTV Official

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: