23 foreigners arrested in Vietnam for running phone scam

TN News

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Twenty-three people from China and Taiwan along with a Vietnamese interpreter were arrested in the central province of Khanh Hoa Monday for allegedly cheating people in China.

According to initial information, the foreigners, including three from Taiwan, rented a nine-room hotel in Nha Trang Town in June for nearly VND30 million (US$1,400) per month, and subscribed to high-speed Internet services.

They then contacted organizations and individuals in China, mainly in Shandong province, that they'd found violating laws on several occasions, the arrestees told police.

Posing themselves as officials in China, they asked their victims to give them their bank account numbers or transfer money to their bank account for investigations.

Khanh Hoa police who busted the ring in cooperation with police from the Ministry of Public Security said their raid netted 37 landline phones and seven computers among other devices.

In a report published Wednesday, Tuoi Tre quoted Tran Ngoc Khanh, director of the provincial police department, as saying that they were completing procedures to hand over the foreign suspects to agencies in China.

They will also be fined VND500 million and banned from entering Vietnam for three to five years, while the Vietnamese suspect, Tran Han Nam, will be punished under Vietnamese laws, Khanh said.

So far Vietnamese police have arrested nearly 200 foreigners, mainly Chinese, on suspicion of using the same scheme on seven occasions from different localities like Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta. The latest arrest, of 59 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals, took place last month in the central province of Phu Yen.

An official from the Ministry of Public Security said the fraudsters and their scheme appeared in Vietnam about one year ago, targeting Chinese people living in Taiwan, China, Vietnam and several other Southeast Asian countries.

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