SOCIETY

Netherlands delays extradition of Vietnamese student to US

Tuoitrenews

Updated : 10/17/2013 13:19 GMT + 7

A Netherlands court has agreed to delay the extradition of a 24-year-old student in Deventer to the US on suspicion of involvement in a computer fraud (phishing) case of 800,000 Euros (over US$1 million).

The Hague Civil Court in the Netherlands has decided to postpone the extradition of Vu Hoang Giang, 24, a third-year student at Saxion University, Deventer City, until he completes his studies at the school on July 21, 2014, lawyer Bart Stapert told Tuoi Tre on Wednesday.

“I am satisfied to know that the court has agreed with Giang’s family that his studies are important. However, the student still faces imminent extradition, but I believe him innocent,” the lawyer said.

Immediately after the court’s decision, the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands issued a statement to oppose it, insisting that Giang be extradited to the US right away. Commenting on this move, the lawyer said, “The ministry can continue to appeal to expedite the extradition. I have yet to know what they are doing now.

We will try to persuade the court not to extradite Giang. We want the US Government to focus on the right offender, Viet, who is living in Vietnam.”

The US side alleges that Giang is an accomplice in a large fraud case in which the offenders used credit card car information to steal a total of about 800,000 Euros (US$1.083 million) from cardholders.

Meanwhile, Giang asserted that he is innocent and that his roommate, Nguyen Quoc Viet, had stolen his personal information to hack and steal credit card information. 

Opposition to extradition

In a recent note to the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands said that Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has conducted an investigation on Nguyen Quoc Viet, a 26 year-old resident in Hanoi, “who is directly involved in conducting acts of wire fraud via the internet that led to Mr. Giang’s wrong arrest and placement under surveillance.”

During questioning, Viet confessed that from September 2009 to September 2011, he received a total of 500,000 Euros in his account at ABN-AMRO through illegal acts. He also transferred a total of 788,000 Euros to his mother’s Vietcombank account in Vietnam from the Netherlands.  

According to investigation findings, during Viet’s study in the Netherlands from December 2009 to June 2011, he and Giang co-rented an apartment in Deventer.

In May 2010, Viet used Giang’s information to set up and register the email accounts giangvu@gmail.com; cool8x@checkcc.biz; address8xcheckcc.biz, and giangvu@mediareresearch.tv.

When surfing the Internet, Viet saved Giang’s passwords and personal information on the server. After registration, Viet used one of these email accounts to order airplane tickets worth 600 Euros, photograph software worth 100 Euros, and paid for registration to an IELTS exam worth 120 Euros. He also bought stolen personal bank accounts sold on the Internet for US$1 to 5 and used the account information to pay for the above-mentioned goods.  

Based on the confession from Viet and documents provided by Giang’s family members, the accusation by United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division against Giang should actually be addressed to Viet.

“Based on this information and what has been raised in the previous notes, the Embassy reiterates its strong opposition against a possible extradition of Vu Hoang Giang to the US and requests the full respect for international laws and clear verification of the alleged charges,” the Embassy’s note said.

Similarly, in a note sent to the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands in June 2013,  Vietnam’s Supreme People’s Procuracy said that pursuant to documents collected by competent authorities of Vietnam, Nguyen Quoc Viet committed fraud of information technology.

The Procuracy requested that the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands send documents from Vietnam to the court and use them to persuade the US not to extradite Vu Hoang Giang .

The Procuracy also said that in the case that Netherlands authorities have evidence relating to Viet’s offenses, they should provide such evidence to the Vietnamese authorities for prosecution in accordance with the laws of Vietnam.