Police have seized a local real estate developer for allegedly swindling two Australians out of nearly US$7 million.
Hoang Van Luong, 56, CEO of Rang Dong Company in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, is now being investigated for fraud.
Police say that in August of 2005, the Ministry of Defense ceded 3,500 square meters of land in Ho Chi Minh City to Binh Phuoc authorities, so the latter could build a complex of offices and apartments to house provincial employees who were working or studying in the city.
The province then contracted Rang Dong to build it.
In August 2010, the company’s shareholders and Luong authorized Tran Ngoc, a Vietnamese-Australian, to gather investment for the project.
Police said two investors, Lam Yin Cho and Lee Park Ling, both Australian, sent a total of $6.41 million to Ngoc, and another $485,000 to Luong between September 2010 and January 2012.
After Luong reportedly failed to follow through and refused to return the money, the investors filed complaints with police.
Ngoc allegedly passed along the money he received from the investors to Luong, and was paid a $200,000 commission.
Details of Ngoc’s precise role in the scam remain sketchy.