Police in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh last week arrested three men who impersonated officers of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) and swindled local businesses.
Vu Viet Xuan, 23, Nguyen Thanh Luan, 26, and Vu Tuan Thanh, 22, are being detained pending further investigations.
The trio, employees of an advertising company based in Ho Chi Minh City, posed themselves as NOIP officers and successfully carried out at least 40 cases in which they promised companies "exclusive brand" registration for payment of fees.
Eighteen of the 40 companies are based in the Mekong Delta, police said.
Thanh was caught red-handed receiving VND4 million (US$193) from the executive of a company in Tra Vinh City in order to help the company prepare files to registering its "exclusive brand" with the NOIP.
Based on his testimony, the police arrested his two accomplices, Xuan and Luan.
More information about the case has not been released.