Hanoi police said Friday that they have arrested a woman for probing allegations she had cheated a variety of individuals and organizations, including government agencies, across the country.
Investigations showed that Nguyen Thi Quy Huyen, director of My-Viet Company, which was opened in Hanoi in 2001 to provide investment consultancy services, boasted that her company was the representative of US-owned Global Hope Fund a NGO seeking to aid suburban localities in Vietnam.
The 66-year-old woman, who used to work as a teacher before going to Russia and coming back later, would ask her partners to sign consultancy contracts and give her a deposit of between tens and hundreds of millions of dong.
However, after receiving the money, she would drop the projects giving various excuses, police said, adding that they found no foreign organization called Global Hope Fund was licensed to operate in Vietnam.
To convince her victims, Huyen showed them photos of herself with high-ranking officials, as well as documents showing her property was worth about US$50 million, according to the police. She would also travel in hired luxurious cars and even a helicopter to gain their trust, they added.
Initial investigations show that in 2008, Huyen signed a contract with the northern province of Hung Yen's Association of Medium and Small Businesses to provide consultancy services on projects to build a high school and a hospital.
She then received VND160 million ($8,217) and $1,300 in deposit from Cao Hong Thanh, vice chairman of the association, but didn't make any progress on the projects, police said.
She allegedly used the same trick to cheat Dac So Commune's People's Committee in Ha Tay Province (now part of Hanoi) out of VND30 million and over VND660 million from other local organizations.
Police said since April they have received hundreds of letters accusing Huyen of cheating them, and they were yet to compile complete statistics on the victims and their losses.
Further investigation is ongoing, police said.