Police in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang arrested a local man at his home late on July 12, for allegedly posing as a rakish police captain and swindling cops and a young girl out of thousands of dollars.
A search of the home of Bui Anh Tuan in the town of My Tho, yielded a police captain's uniform, a cigarette lighter shaped like a handgun and numerous photos of Tuan in uniform.
Tuan, 30, admitted at the police station that he had introduced himself as “a close nephew of the Tien Giang provincial party committee chief who serves in the Binh Thanh District Traffic Department in Ho Chi Minh City.”
Using the assumed identity, he allegedly confessed to hustling VND120 million (more than US$5,600) from a Tien Giang man called Hoang with a promise to get the latter’s relative a position at a police station.
Tuan disappeared soon after taking the money from Hoang.
Using the same assumed identity, Tuan made VND25 million (around $1,200) by promising a cop to help his brother get a position in the health department.
Tuan met his next victim when he was pulled over on the way to HCMC.
The alleged conman introduced himself as "on the job in the police branch in Tien Giang,” and flashed a photo of himself in a police uniform. The cop who stopped him (described only as G.) let Tuan go without a fine and even gave the latter his contact info.
Tuan called G. days later and invited him to coffee. After winning his confidence, Tuan asked to borrow some money.
G. and a colleague allegedly scraped together VND20 million (nearly $1,000) to help out their fellow officer.
Once Tuan got the money, they never heard from him again.
Tuan's exploits continued in HCMC.
A few months ago, he became acquainted with a 21-year old woman at a coffee shop.
Introducing himself as the “son of an vice minister of the public security” and “a police captain,” Tuan rapidly roped the girl into a love affair.
The credulous woman gave him her laptop and mobile phone, as tokens of her affection.
Tuan took her for a total of VND100 million ($4,700) before he announced that their story could go no further.
It would be inappropriate for the “son of a vice minister” to marry a woman so far beneath his station, he reportedly told her.