Police bust cash-for-university admission scam

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Police in southern Vietnam are investigating a cash-for-university-admission scam after arresting two men who allegedly offered to put students in leading schools without having to take entrance exams.

Nguyen Thanh Phuong of Dong Nai Province and Le Quang Trung of Binh Thuan Province, both 32, were arrested Monday night when they were taking VND5 million (US$240) from a man who was paying for a relative.

He had been asked to pay VND120 million in all.

The two admitted to receiving VND130 million (US$6,240) from five people so far.

They targeted students who failed to pass university and college entrance exams this year, urging them to pay quickly since the new school year was set to begin soon.

They had claimed to be teachers at the Ho Chi Minh City Open University and offered admission to leading Ho Chi Minh City schools like the University of Economics, the People's Security University, the Foreign Trade University, the University of Technology, the University of Medicine, PetroVietnam University, and the Law University.

Phuong had a notebook in which he had noted transactions with dozens of people worth nearly VND2 billion ($91,700).

He also had an introduction from a former chief representative of a newspaper's southern office as a reporter at the paper to burnish his credentials.

The police said they are investigating this too.

They are looking for a man named Chien from HCMC, believed to be a member of the gang.

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He had claimed to be an official from the Ministry of Public Security and that he could get people admitted to military-run schools, known for securing students many privileges during and after their studies, for VND120-150 million.

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