New arrest in housing scam led by overseas Vietnamese beauty queen

Thanh Nien News

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday took into custody a woman who allegedly abetted a Vietnamese-Russian beauty queen in a scam that cheated a man out of nearly VND16 billion (US$734,000).
Nguyen Duc Thuy Dung, 26, was suspected of faking documents that purportedly showed Truong Ho Phuong Nga having returned the money to the victim after he had filed a complaint with the police, news website VnExpress reported.
Nga, 28, who won a beauty contest for Vietnamese in Russia in 2007, was detained earlier this week for investiagtion on fraud charges.

Truong Ho Phuong Nga, 2007 Miss Vietnam in Russia. Photo credit: VnExpress
She allegedly told a local businessman, referred to as H., that she had many good contacts who could help him buy houses at low prices.
The man then transferred VND5.6 billion ($257,000) to her account to buy a house in District 5.
But Nga later told him the deal fell apart due to some paperwork issues.
She then managed to convince him to send another VND10 billion ($459,000) for buying a new house.
After failing to get the promised house, H. demanded his money back. Since Nga allegedly kept evading him, he reported the case to the police.
Police received the complaint in December and called Nga for questioning.
She claimed to have repaid H., and produced documents as proof, but the police later found the documents to be fake.
The investigation is continuing.
Nga reportedly emigrated to Russia with her family when she was 12.
After winning the beauty contest, she returned to Vietnam to work for a communications company in 2009 and also did some modeling work.
She has starred in a couple of music videos and films and emceed a few charity, film and beauty events without attracting much attention.

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