Vietnamese police have apprehended a local woman for cheating dozens of people out of their money through a scam organized by an overseas group led by Malaysians and Nigerians.
Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday arrested Le Thi Phuong Trang, 38, on charges of “appropriating property through swindling” pursuant to Article 139 of the Penal Code.
Trang, living in Tan Binh District, was a member of a foreign organized crime group that conned many Vietnamese people out of their money through a scheme in which she asked her victims to pay customs duty by bank transfer for the “gifts” she claimed to have sent to them from abroad, police officers said, adding that Trang actually sent no such presents to the “prey.”
Some Malaysians and Nigerians led the criminal ring and Trang joined them when she previously lived in Malaysia, police said.
Investigators said Trang and other members of the ring got acquainted with Vietnamese people on Facebook.
When their relations became closer over time, Trang told her potential victims that she would send “valuable gifts” from abroad to them and asked them to prepare money to pay customs duty for these.
The woman then made phone calls to one of her possible victims, during which she posed as a staffer from a Vietnam-based foreign transport firm and said that customs officers had detected a large sum of money in the parcel of gifts shipped to her victim.
Trang told the victim to pay a fee to a designated bank account to receive the parcel, without forgetting to warn that if her victim failed to do so, the gift would be confiscated.
Many people have followed Trang’s instructions and lost a lot of money to the swindler.
The money transferred by the victims to accounts designated by the ring was later withdrawn with credit cards in Malaysia, investigators said.
In February alone, Trang called hundreds of people in Vietnam and 10 of them transferred a total of VND1 billion (US$46,550) to the account she then designated, investigators said, adding that the ring gave her VND100 million ($4,655) out of the total, news website VnExpress reported.
From March 3 until her arrest, Trang rung more than 30 people, most of whom were women, according to VnExpress.
Three of these people transferred to Trang a total of $10,000 and VND80 million ($3,720), the newswire cited investigators as saying.
Police are further investigating the case.
Đăng ký: VietNam News