Filipinos detained in HCMC for fraud

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City took five Filipinos into custody Monday for allegedly cheating foreign tourists. 


The suspects were arrested in police's two seperate raids in Thu Duc District on July 13.


According to the police, Dindo Macachor, 48, and Cesar Devillar, 58, started a chat with Emily Helen Garbe, a 19-year-old Canadian tourist, when she was walking around Ben Thanh Market in District 1.


After that they invited Garbe to their home for dinner in Hiep Binh Chanh Ward, Thu Duc District, where four others, including Gemma Dfrend, 44, and Joim Reria, 46, were cooking.


They invited the young tourist to gamble, letting her win several rounds before playing tricks to get her money, police said, adding that the chips then reached up to $70,000.


Later the Filipinos pretended to lose all their money and acted as though they were planning to call someone to bring them another $10,000 to continue playing, but police raided the house at that point.


Police said they confiscated $883 in real cash and 1,000 $100-notes later identified as votive papers, one camera and eight mobile phones among other objects at the house.


Tran Quang Vinh, deputy chief of HCMC Police Division's special force PC45, said when gambling, the suspects always bet with stacks of notes worth tens of thousands of dollars, but in fact, all of them were votive papers except the first and last notes.


The same day, police also raided another house in the same ward and arrested five other Filipinos suspected of using the same ploy.



Card sharks stalk tourists
Many materials and objects related to the gambling scheme cheats were found at the house, but no victim was in at that time, police said.


The police said they started investigating the Filipinos in May and have so far found that the ring cheated a Japanese tourist out of $3,000 and 60,000 yen ($758.7) last month. A European tourist was also trapped and lost several thousands of dollars, they said, without giving further details.


Vinh said that they had also followed up on an investigative report published by Thanh Nien to investigate two groups in Binh Thanh District, but the latter had moved out.


Further investigations are underway into all the cases, the officer said.


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