Police in Nghe An Province, north-central Vietnam, have arrested 32 suspects from a gang that colluded with other suspects working for companies abroad to carry out scams in which they pretended to be judicial officers to cheat their Vietnamese victims out of over US$8.2 million.
During an investigation starting in July 2023, the provincial police department detected Tang Quang Vinh, 35, a resident in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City as one of the gang’s masterminds directing the collusion between suspects living in Vietnam, including Nghe An, and those working at companies abroad to conduct scams targeting Vietnamese victims.
After arresting Vinh, local police continued to detain 31 others residing in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Thuan and Thanh Hoa Provinces.
Nghe An accounts for 26 among the 32 arrested suspects, who were in charge of different roles in their scams.
During phone calls with their potential preys in the premade lists, some gang members falsely claimed themselves as police officers, while others pretended to be prosecutors or court officials.
These swindlers told their preys that the latter had their phone numbers or bank accounts blocked because they were being investigated criminally due to their involvement in deceptive organizations or because their phone numbers or accounts were being abused by criminals for illegal activities.
The cheaters later asked their victims to transfer their money to the designated bank accounts and follow their directions, including registering e-banking services, and then provided them with one-time passwords (OTPs) so that they appropriate money in their victims’ accounts.
The swindlers requested their preys not to reveal the relations between the two sides to anybody.
With such tricks, the gang had cheated a total of more than VND200 billion ($8.21 million) from their victims from different localities in the country, investigators said.
Local police are investigating the case to clarify the roles of each gang member in Vietnam and abroad.