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Vietnam hunts for woman who aided conman claiming to be American

Monday, October 12, 2015, 15:33 GMT+7
Vietnam hunts for woman who aided conman claiming to be American
A woman is seen counting her U.S. dollar bills in this photo illustration.

Police have issued an international search warrant for a 35-year-old Vietnamese woman who has been found to be colluding with an alleged foreigner in a con of local women out of their money, local media reported.

Police officers in the central city of Da Nang on Sunday said they have put Vo Thi Xuan Lan, 35, on the international wanted list on charges of “appropriating property through swindling,” pursuant to Article 139 of the Penal Code.

Lan has a permanent residence address in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, but she often resides in Cambodia and once engaged in sending people from Vietnam to Cambodia for the purposes of gambling, police said.

In 2012, Lan colluded with swindlers living abroad in cheating Vietnamese women who were old, lived alone, or divorced.

They also targeted young women who liked to marry foreigners.     

Lan’s conspirators set up a Facebook page called “Donald Jack,” which is the name of a man who claimed to be a divorced American engineer with a daughter.

Through chatting with Vietnamese women, Jack said he could help them immigrate to the U.S. under his sponsorship so that they would get married to him, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported. 

Jack lied to these women by telling them he had offered them valuable gifts.

Lan then posed as an airline employee and a customs officer to inform the potential victims that their “gifts” had arrived in Vietnam but were being detained by customs because their value was “too high,” amounting to hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars.

In order to get the “presents” through customs clearance, the recipients had to pay a “tax,” Lan told her victims, and then asked them to transfer money into a designated bank account in order to pay that “tax.”

After the women finished transferring the money, the gang appropriated it.

By October 2015, Lan and her foreign accomplices had conned 10 victims out of a combined VND700 million (US$31,300), Da Nang police said.

These victims were from Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the southern province of Dong Thap, investigators said.

Da Nang police call on those who have fallen victim to Lan and the owner of the Facebook page to contact them at their office at 47 Ly Tu Trong Street, Hai Chau District.

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