A file photo shows many fake identity cards and ATM cards found at the headquarters of a fraud ring arrested in Ho Chi Minh City
Nine suspected gang members and their alleged Taiwanese ringleader stand accused of forging identity papers, making hundreds of fraudulent bank transactions, and swindling Vietnamese victims, Ho Chi Minh City police reported Monday.
Police seized 230 ATM cards, a laptop and 180 suspicious identity cards in the gang's headquarters late last month.
Police say the suspected ringleader, Lee Jung Teng, came to HCMC from Taiwan in early February looking for false identity cards.
His visit to Vietnam was ordered by Huang Jin Cheng, the Taiwanese leader of an international fraud gang.
Police say the kingpin paid Teng US$3,000 per month.
With the help of other Chinese-Vietnamese gang members, Lee manufactured false identity cards to open ATM accounts for VND1.5 million (about $70) apiece.
An all-in-one kit including a fake identity card, a bank account and a cell phone SIM card for receiving the account statement cost $160 each.
The 25 year-old Taiwanese collected 184 ATM cards and 12 false identity cards, which he sent to his accomplices to withdraw money.
The ring then called private citizens and convinced them to send them money by impersonating the authorities and threatening them.
The victims then complied with their demands and deposited funds into their fraudulent accounts.
In an unrelated incident, Hanoi police recently prosecuted three Chinese suspects, aged from 25-39, for using digital devices to swindle Vietnamese depositors.
The ring allegedly used fake credit cards loaded with stolen data to make 56 successful transactions, appropriating a total of VND54 million.
The Chinese group was arrested when after using the fake credit cards to defraud taxi companies in the capital city.
Police seized a laptop, 109 credit cards and several machines used to make fake credit cards.
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