Vietnam busts Taiwanese group involved in phoney police scam

By Quoc Thang, An Hong   April 19, 2016 | 11:38 am GMT+7

Vietnamese police have busted a telephone scam led by a group of five Taiwanese men who allegedly pretended to be police officers to swindle victims out of billions of Vietnamese dong.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City in charge of investigating economic crimes (PC46) arrested 11 people on Monday, including five men from Taiwan and six Vietnamese, for their involvement in the fraud.

vietnam-busts-taiwanese-group-involved-in-phoney-police-scam

The group, led by five Taiwanese men, was arrested on an alleged telephone scam. Photo by QT

The Taiwanese group, led by Liu En Hsiang, are said to have entered Vietnam in early February on tourist visas and started operating by persuading Vietnamese people to help them open local bank accounts.

Their accomplices in Taiwan are believed to have called randomly-selected numbers in Vietnam and pretended to be police officers, coercing victims into wiring money into the local bank accounts.

At first, they called the victims and claimed VND10 million ($450) for outstanding telephone bills. Then they transferred the victims who were caught off guard to their fake police accomplices. The "officers" accused the victims of being involved in drug smuggling and money laundering and tricked them into wiring money into a “safe” bank account with the promise that the money would be returned once the victims were cleared of the accusations.

The Vietnamese suspects, including 31-year-old Giap Thanh Dat from the southern province of Dong Nai, were accused of co-operation by opening accounts at local commercial banks and withdrawing money from the accounts that they had access to.

Police confirmed that the Taiwanese group, who all had a string of previous convictions in their homeland, were arrested for having fraudulently appropriated about VND3 billion.