Second Hanoi firm busted for online gold, currency exchange

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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Police raid the offices of Khai Thai Company in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son Police raid the offices of Khai Thai Company in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son

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The Ministry of Public Security arrested a Taiwanese businessman and five of his subordinates for running an illegal online gold and forex market.
The raid on the Khai Thai Company's Hanoi headquarters marked the second-such bust in a week.
The arrestees included Hsu Ming Jung, general director of Khai Thai Company, director Dinh Manh Linh,  Doan Thi Luyen, director of Cau Giay branch, Dinh Thi Hong Vinh, director of Long Bien branch, Tang Hai Nam, director of Ba Dinh branch and Trinh Hoa Binh, chief accountant.
Police seized VND20 billion (US$94,200) from the company's offices, VND70 billion from Jung's house along with a number of computers and relevant documents.
Police say the group founded Khai Thai in 2011 and modified its business license six times.
It's current license permits it to trade gold and foreign currency, however, Vietnamese law prohibits the operation of such businesses online.
The company allegedly drew large investments from many individuals looking to earn 3-3.5 percent in interest and opened 2,000 accounts to house a total of VND200 billion (US$9.4 million).
The company also hired employees in Taiwan to invest in forex in Guangdong and Hong Kong.
Investigators said Khai Thai launched mass recruitments without signing labor contracts and assigning its employees to hunt for potential investors.
Police are investigating the case.
Last week, police arrested Vu Duc Hieu, director of VGX Company and chief accountant Nguyen Thi My Hanh, also for operating an illegal gold and forex market.
According to police, there are still 30-40 similar illegal services in Vietnam with thousands of investors.
These deals are not managed by governmental agencies and the government cannot collect taxes on the transactions.
Online gold trading has been banned since March 30, 2010 when the government tightened controls on the precious metal to discourage its widespread trade.

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