The now-fugitive woman founded nearly 20 companies for the illicit activity which gave her over US$60 million
A woman who won a beauty contest for Vietnamese businesspeople has been charged with orchestrating activities in selling illegal value-added tax invoices that are collectively associated with millions of dollars.
Authorities in the northern city of Hai Phong have broken up a massive invoice sale ring lead by Nguyen Thi Nhung, local police officer Nguyen Duc Cuong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) on Friday.
She was the queen of Miss Vietnam Global Business 2018, a competition judged by celebrities which took place on a luxury cruise ship visiting Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
According to case records, companies registered in trading goods of enormous value suspiciously mushroomed on the same street of Hung Vuong in the city’s Hong Bang District. Police discovered that the firms neither operated nor stored the products they claimed to provide, although they had their own offices and transaction locations.
A three-month probe revealed that the businesses were all established to sell value-added tax invoices. The money-making scheme was organized by Nhung, a Hai Phong resident at the time worked as the manager of a joint-stock company.
Her accomplices include Vu Thi Anh Tuyet, 43, who contacted and carried out transactions with customers, and Tran Thi Minh Thu, 37, responsible for printing and filling out invoices. People to whom Nhung assigned work in the racketeering had no knowledge of the job of each other – a practice which helped her shield the activity from authorities.
The woman has built up 17 companies for the scam, and managed to sell a large number of invoices which must have given her VND1.5 trillion (US$66 million), according to police estimates. Tuyet and Thu have been taken into custody while the ring leader is still wanted.
Nhung was praised as a businesswoman of beauty, confidence, talent and adroitness, willing to join charity causes and social activities.