Meteorite con men arrested in Vietnam metro

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City have detained two men who cheated people of nearly US$10,000 in a meteorite scam.

Dang Ngoc Thanh, 44, and Tran Van Sinh, 47, both from the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, were arrested in the city Tuesday while they were attempting to cheat a woman of around $4.8 million.

Initial investigations show that the customer, only identified as N.T.L., 47, was first approached by Sinh in June last year. He told her that he wanted to buy meteorites and would pay tens of millions of dollars for a kilogram.

Later, Thanh met up with her and informed her that he had a meteorite he wanted to sell for VND100 billion ($4.8 million). He asked her if she was willing to broker the deal.

The woman agreed to be the middleperson.

On Tuesday, she paid Thanh VND100 million ($4,800) in advance and said she would come back later with the full payment and take the rock, which Thanh had shown her.

Later a friend of the woman, named Anh, who happened to know about the scheme, offered to bring the money to Thanh with her. When Thanh saw Anh, he ran away.

Earlier this month, the two men had cheated other friends of Anh of VND100 million using the same trick.

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