Police in Hanoi have pressed criminal charges against a 41-year-old local man for selling mobile phone spyware to 887 people.
Le Viet Tam of Thanh Xuan District was charged with “misappropriating user data” which can carry a punishment terms of up to three years in prison and a fine of VND30 million (US$1,400).
Police launched an investigation into his alleged crimes following reports from mobile phone subscribers who suspected their phones were being monitored.
On May 13, police say they caught Tam selling Mspy software to a customer at a café on Nguy Nhu Cong Tum Street for VND600,000.
Once installed, the software automatically relays a user's location, call history and other data to the controlling mobile device.
At the police station, Tam confessed to having downloaded the spyware on the Internet.
He claimed he first installed it on his wife’s phone for spying purpose.
In March, he contacted an administrator at the website Omegaspy and asked to buy the spyware for distribution in Vietnam. The unidentified person introduced him to someone who sold him the spyware for US$3,000.
Tam began to sell the spyware in September offering the program for VND1 million for six months' use.
Police identified 877 people who purchased Mspy from Tam, including 741 active users.
Tam earned more than VND60 million from the illegal business.