A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced a Nigerian man to 15 years in prison, on Tuesday, for robbing 15 Vietnamese women through a complicated love con.
Okoye Uchenna, 37, was found guilty of swindling his victims with the help of a Vietnamese woman, 51-year-old Vo Thi Xuan Hong, who was sentenced to ten years in prison.
According to the indictment, Uchenna and Hong spent two years preying on Vietnamese women they met over the internet, under fake male names and nationalities.
After winning their confidence, they promised their victims cell phones, laptops, jewelry and money and even set up a websites that purported to track these apocryphal shipments.
Nigerian Okoye Uchenna, 37, being escorted from a trial Tuesday. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail for swindling Vietnamese women. Photo: Le Nga
Hong posed as a delivery person and reached the victims through emails, phone calls or direct contact--demanding deposits for the consignments.
She accepted cash payments and deposits into her three bank accounts.
The duo managed to cheat 15 women out of more than VND1 billion (US$47,000) until police arrested them last year.
Uchenna paid Hong a total of VND52 million and kept the rest, police said.
The scheme began in January 2012, when Uchenna (posing as Tony Brow) made online contact with Men, a woman in HCMC’s Go Vap District.
After a short time, he professed his love and told Men that he would send expensive gifts to her through a shipping company in Malaysia.
An unidentified man later contacted Men, posing as a Malaysian customs officer and claimed to be holding a package.
He asked Men to deposit $2,500 into Hong’s account; in exchange, he said he would clear the gift to Vietnam.
Men contacted the police after she was asked to send more money.
In March 2013, Uchenna (posing as Piero Dwan) began courting a 46-year-old woman in Can Tho City, identified only as N, and told her he wanted to invest in Vietnam and marry her.
On March 24, 2013, he sent N a fake flight schedule and asked her to meet him at Can Tho Airport.
Two days later, he called N saying he was about to board a transit flight in Malaysia and would turn off his phone.
Shortly thereafter, a man posing as a Malaysian policeman called N, saying that Dwan had been detained because he was carrying 600,000 British pounds and had to pay a fine.
This man passed the phone to Dwan, who sent N a picture of a suitcase full of money and asked her to send him VND33.8 million to pay a fine.
After transferring the money into an account, N was unable to reach Dwan and contacted the police.
Police are investigating the possibility that the duo used additional accomplices.
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