Hanoi cops arrest Chinese ringleader in $52k credit card scam

By Ha An, Thanh Nien News

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Chinese national Zeng Xiao Tian, 30, at a Hanoi police station as being probed for leading a credit card fraud to steal from banks. Photo: Ha An Chinese national Zeng Xiao Tian, 30, at a Hanoi police station as being probed for leading a credit card fraud to steal from banks. Photo: Ha An

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A Chinese man has been arrested in Hanoi for hiring Vietnamese nationals to open front companies and steal more than VND1.12 billion (US$52,600) from a local bank using fake and stolen credit cards.
Last week, Hanoi police cooperated with high-tech investigators from the Ministry of Public Security to arrest Zeng Xiao Tian, 30, and two of his local accomplices – Dinh Van Chinh, a 29-year-old Hanoian and Nguyen Thi Phuong, 26, from nearby Thanh Hoa Province – for alleged cyber fraud.
Lieutenant Colonel Ha Thi Hang, deputy head of the high-tech crime division of Hanoi police, said the gang signed up for a credit card payment services at several major bank branches in Hanoi--including BIDV (Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam), Sacombank, VietinBank, Vietcombank, Eximbank and Oceanbank.
The gang made fake transactions on credit card terminals provided to the front companies by the banks, depositing the money into accounts under the name of young people and students hired to pose as executives.
They also used the cards to withdraw money from the banks’ ATMs.
Hang said the scheme was new and started last year after Chinh opened the front company in Hanoi and named Zeng the managing director to help him get temporary resident status.

Point-of-sale terminals that police in Hanoi seized from a fraud gang led by a Chinese national dedicated to stealing funds from local banks. Photo: Ha An
Investigators say Chinh opened at least four more front companies.
The Vietnamese co-conspirators earned nearly VND20 million (nearly $1,000) each a month for their role in the scheme.
Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper said they were paid a significant commission for every VND1 million withdrawn from ATMs.
The paper said the gang had made at least 333 successful transactions; 254 others failed because the gang used lost or stolen cards.
Police have seized five point-of-sale terminals, two machines for making fake credit cards, 21 raw cards and 45 inscribed cards used in the scheme.

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