Nguyen Hoang Thinh (L) and Vo Xuan Dan suspected of forging documents for US visa applicants in Ho Chi Minh City / PHOTO: DAM HUY
Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested six people involved in buying and selling forged documents to obtain US visas.
Police say that Vo Xuan Dan, 39, and Nguyen Hoang Thinh, 61 are believed to have helped many people get visas by stacking their passports with fake visas from other countries and printing forged invitations to events in the US.
Four other arrestees were applicants pending interviews at the Consulate General of the US.
Police say that Dan often operated near the consulate general building in District 1 seek customers.
Those who wished to study or travel in the US would give him their passports, identification papers and five photos.
He charged them US$700 per set of documents if they successfully acquired a visa and $200 if they failed.
Dan asked Thinh to forge documents to increase applicant eligibility, such as business licenses, invitations to exhibitions in the US, and visas granted by other countries for VND4 million ($188) per person.
Dan told police that many of his customers managed to get US visas, mainly those looking to go study, but he claimed that he did not remember the exact number of successful cases.
Police say they discovered Dan’s operation after breaking up a massive document forging syndicate led by Do Huu Tho, 38, Truong Thi Bich Thuy, 48, and Phung Quoc Thai, 35.
Uncovered early this year, the syndicate was suspected of adding 1,500 forged blood test results into hundreds of patient books at local hospitals along while providing fake official seals from health, education and police agencies.
The syndicate also allegedly provided fake ID cards to female sex workers who used them to get passports, and travel to neighboring countries that waive visa requirements for Vietnamese nationals (like Malaysia and Thailand) to work at bars, discotheques, restaurants and massage parlors.
Police said the investigation remains underway and they're still picking up members of the syndicate.
Last month they arrested Do Vu Cong, 52, a broker who helped sex workers get fake ID cards, and Huynh Thi Le Hang, a 27-year-old sex worker.
Police say that Hang had travelled to Malaysia, many times, on her passport to work at illicit massage parlor and restaurants that provide sexual services.
But after being arrested by local police, she was deported and banned from re-entering that country.
So in April of 2012, she asked Cong to make her a fake ID card so she could obtain a passport under another name and re-enter Malaysia.
Cong gave her an ID card identifying her as Nguyen Thi Dieu for $500, which allowed Hang to get a new passport and continue to fly to Malaysia for work.
She was busted on March 25th after arriving at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Police say they've been aware of her scheme since she applied for her passport, last October.