Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested the Taiwanese kingpin of a syndicate that convinced local people to send them money by impersonating the authorities over the phone .
Liu Tsung Chih was captured on August 30 in a District 7 hotel after three of his henchmen--one Taiwanese and two Vietnamese--were caught by the police.
Liu Tsung Chih, the recently-arrested kingpin of a telephone syndicate that conned unsuspecting citizens into sending in money, was arrested by police on Saturday.
Chih and his subordinates told each of their victims that he or she had become a suspect in a national money laundering investigation.
The victims were then ordered to transfer money into their bank accounts to prove their innocence.
The victims transferred a total of VND 2.5 billion (US$118,000) to the ring’s fake accounts.
Most never saw their money again.
In August, city police arrested Wu Tung I for operating another phone scam in Ho Chi Minh City.
The suspect was also wanted by Taiwanese police for similar charges.
Wu’s ring used the same tricks as Chih’s to swindle billions of dong from credulous victims.
Police sent mass text messages warning citizens of such schemes, but the victims had been thoroughly duped.
“Their impersonations of police were so methodical and I was so frightened that all I could do was follow their directions,” said Tr., a local woman who sent Wu’s ring a total of VND 1.06 billion.
The city police have arrested 55 suspects allegedly employed in 13 such rings so far this year--14 of those suspects were foreigners.
However, only VND6 billion ($283,000) has been recovered so far.
Around VND 30 billion ($1.4 million) remains unaccounted for, according to a police spokesperson who added that 400 ATM cards and hundreds of cellphones were seized during various raids.