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Vietnam nabs 52 Chinese for cheating with high tech

Vietnam nabs 52 Chinese for cheating with high tech

Friday, December 07, 2012, 12:50 GMT+7

Police in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday arrested a gang of 52 Chinese and Taiwanese for swindling China-based individuals and businesses using hi-tech telecom devices. On Thursday morning, about 100 police officers raided a villa on Nguyen Van Huong Street in Thao Dien Ward, District 2, catching 25 foreigners using the Internet and hi-tech telecommunication devices to commit swindles. In another raid later on another villa in the same ward, police detained 27 others. The police seized from the swindlers 21 laptops, 18 Internet modems, 58 Voice IP devices,  77 landline telephones, 25 mobile phones, and a lot of walkie-talkies. They also seized nearly VND80 million (US$390), about US$6,000, more than 127,000 yuans, and documents detailing around 200 different scenarios for use in swindling their victims. This gang operated trans-nationally with complicated tricks, said Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Sy Quang, deputy head of the HCMC Police's Secretariat. The gang was led by a group of 5 people, who had arranged for the others to arrive in Vietnam on tourist visas and then leased the two villas for their swindling activities. The gang was divided into three groups. The first group, whose members posed as officials from the Chinese Ministry of Public Security would make phone calls to their victims in China. The swindlers used hi-tech equipment so that the area codes of the callers were falsely displayed to be in Beijing or Guangzhou. Through the calls, the swindlers falsely warned their victims that their bank accounts had been hacked by criminals.

The victims would then be required to contact an “investigation police agency” at a designated phone number for assistance.

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This file photo shows a group of Chinese nationals arrested by police from the Ministry of Public Security for swindling using hi-tech telecom equipment (Photo: VietnamNet)

When such contacts are made, the victims will be asked by the fake policemen to provide their account numbers and related information and will be advised to transfer all the money in these accounts to a designated account. The victims will then be referred to the third group of the swindling gang that gives instructions on transferring money to the accounts of “concerned agencies” that were actually set up by the gang. Such swindlers usually operate only for a few months in a country and then move to another to avoid being detected by local police, Lieutenant Colonel Quang said. In HCMC, almost all such gangs were busted after they operated for a very short time, he added.

Similar cases in the past On April 6, 2012, HCMC police detained 43 Chinese and Taiwanese for the same crime. These criminals rented four houses in District 12 and Binh Tan, Tan Phu and Hoc Mon District, and installed telecom equipment there to swindle China-based individuals and companies of their money. On October 17, 2011, police in Khanh Hoa Province inspected two hotels in Nha Trang City and caught 23 Chinese and 1 Vietnamese conducting swindling acts using hi-tech equipment. On September 13, 2011, police in HCMC caught 17 foreigners committing the same offenses. On September 5, 2011, police in Phu Yen and from the Ministry of Public Security raided 5 locations in the province’s Tuy Hoa Town, arresting 57 people, most of whom Chinese, for committing transnational swindling acts using hi-tech equipment. On July 7, 2010, police in HCMC arrested 99 foreigners, most of them Chinese and Taiwanese on international wanted list, who fled to the city to set up new strongholds for fraud activities.

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