Two young men have been duped into buying counterfeit banknotes from a gang group in Ho Chi Minh City, and ended up being robbed of a huge amount of real money.
The robbers disguising as fake money dealers are being hunted by police in District 9, officers said Tuesday.
The investigation was initiated following complaint from two victims, Vo Thanh Lai, 26, and Nguyen Van Nghiem, 34, who had VND10 million (US$439.5) worth of real cash mugged by the robbers last week.
According to the case file, Lai, a District 12 resident, met a man who goes by the nickname “Quoc Cam” on the Vietnamese social network site Zalo, who introduced himself as a seller of fake Vietnamese banknotes.
The dealer offers to trade VND400,000 ($17.58) worth of fake money for VND100,000 ($4.4), without asking for upfront payment from the buyers.
With the dealer only accepting transaction worth at least VND20 million ($879), Lai asked his friend Nghiem to lend him money to join in the purchase.
Even though the two could eventually mobilize around VND10 million, the seller still accepted the deal and arranged to meet them at a gas station near the Co.op Mart Supermarket in District 9 at around 8:00 pm on December 21.
Upon arriving at the location, Nghiem was received by a man who asked to take him on his motorbike to a nearby abandoned land plot, where another man was waiting with the counterfeit banknotes.
Shortly after receiving the VND10 million in cash from Nghiem, the men threw a bag of powdered pepper to the buyer’s face, before beating him and leaving with the stolen money.
The two victims admitted they had intended to purchase the fake money for gambling.
They were not charged for trading counterfeit currency as the transaction had not been made.