Victims urged to show up to help probe Vietnam direct selling fraud

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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From left: Le Van Dinh, Nguyen Tran Hoang and Nguyen Thi Truc Anh who came up with a direct selling fraud victimizing more than 10,000 people as of late 2012. PHOTOS: DAM HUY

Ho Chi Minh City police's Bureau of Criminal Investigation are looking for victims of a multilevel marketing ring that cheated more than 10,000 people.

Three masterminds Nguyen Tran Hoang, 24, Le Van Dinh, and Nguyen Thi Truc Anh, 38, are being investigated for the trade fraud through Xuyen Viet Tourism Investment JSC they established in February 2011.
Hoang and Dinh have been detained in custody since November 2012 while the woman is left at large.
Investigations found that Hoang, Anh and Dinh opened the company on Bui Thi Xuan Street in Tan Binh District with Nguyen Van Tuan, 28.
Hoang was the board chairman and Anh his deputy while Tuan the general director of the company, which was said to run an e-commerce exchange but police said it did not exist.
Dinh was not named in the business license but turned out to be the one pulling strings.
Membership cost VND1.2-2 million (US$57-95) and was advertised as granting access to discounts of 20 to 35 percent, and ownership of an online booth that provides regular cash bonuses of between VND5 million and 1 billion ($240-48,000), villas and cars, depending on how many new members they pull in.
Members filed complaints after they received nothing from the company.
The suspects said they had received more than VND12.6 billion ($597,700) from the members.
Police have identified 50 victims who have invested more than VND4.43 billion in the company.
They had paid more than the basic membership fee to become VIP members to earn better bonuses, without having to invite new members.
An officer said the city police have not completed a full list of victims or the amount of scammed money, so any victims can report to the investigation team office at 324 Hoa Hung Street, Ward 13, District 10, or call them at (08) 3862 3638 by May 9, 2014.

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