Police in the northern city of Hai Phong on Tuesday arrested 41 Chinese and Taiwanese and three Vietnamese people for using hi-tech telecom equipment to swindle people in China of at least 2.2 million yuan, or US$360,000.
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After about a month of investigation, local police, with the aid of their counterparts from the Ministry of Public Security, raided three houses in the city yesterday and caught many of the detained making phone calls through the Internet to their potential victims, said Colonel Nguyen Duc Cuong, head of the city Police Department’s Criminal Police Division.
Of the houses, two are located in Duong Kinh District, and the other is in Le Chan District
Of the 41 foreigners, 27 are men and the rest are women.
Police seized numerous laptops, fixed telephone sets and books related to their criminal activities.
The detained have been charged with “appropriating property through swindling,” pursuant to Article 139 of the Penal Code, the official said.
The Vietnamese police began their investigation into the ring in early October after receiving a request for help from the Chinese police, who were investigating a case in which a woman living in China’s Guangxi province reported that she had lost 220,000 yuan (US$36,000) to someone who claimed to be a Chinese police officer and asked her to transfer the money to a given account “for examination purposes”.
A house raided by police in the northern city of Hai Phong on November 4, 2014 (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Chinese police then launched an investigation and learned that the culprits were in Vietnam, so they asked their Vietnamese counterparts to help arrest the swindlers.
The members of the ring would pose as Chinese police officers who were investigating cases, such as money laundering, involving the people they were calling.
They then threatened their victims, requesting them to transfer amounts to designated accounts so they could “examine the origin of the money.”
The swindlers also posed as staff express delivery companies and asked their potential victims to transfer an amount to a given account as a fee for receiving valuable gifts that had been sent to them.
Many people have fallen victim to the ring’s tricks, allowing its members to amass about 2.2 million yuan (nearly $360,000) over about one month, investigators said.
The swindlers would stay in a rented house for one to three months and then move to avoid being detected, investigators said.
Police are expanding their investigation into the case to track down others involved in the ring, as well as their victims.
A similar case happened more than two months ago when the city police busted a swindling ring and arrested two Taiwanese and two Vietnamese who had posed as authority figures to cheat their victims out of at least VND2.5 billion ($117,600).