Chinese duo get 4 years in jail for using fake bank cards

By Ky Hoa   June 23, 2018 | 01:29 pm GMT+7
Chinese duo get 4 years in jail for using fake bank cards
Two Chinese men are escorted by police when they leave court after the verdict session on June 22. Photo by VnExpress/Ky Hoa

Saigon shop staff tipped off the police about two men trying to buy expensive phones.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced two Chinese nationals to four years in prison on Friday for cheating local merchants to the tune of VND370 million ($16,165), using fake credit cards.

Lu Lei, 31, and Zhang Qiyu, 23, were charged with “using computer networks, telecommunications networks, Internet or digital devices to misappropriate property.”

According to the indictment, in June 2016, the Chinese men bought iPhones 7 worth VND48 million ($2,097) from a shop in District 3, using a counterfeit visa card for payment. When the shop staff got suspicious and asked the duo for their passports, they said they did not have it on them.

They returned the next day with the passports, but were arrested by police officers who seized four fake credit cards on the spot. A raid of the suspects’ residence following the arrest netted 32 bank cards without account information printed on them.

Investigations confirmed that the Chinese men had swindled $16,165 by using 12 forged credit cards to purchase items from many shops in the city.

No information was available on how the men got fake cards to work, whether they’d used stolen personal information and if they did, how they had obtained it. In previous cases, there were reports of Vietnamese people abetting the criminals in stealing information, and in at least one case a few years ago, a man said he’d bought stolen information online.

This is not the first time that Chinese nationals have been caught using fake credit or debit cards in Vietnam.

In May last year, a court in the central city of Da Nang sentenced two Chinese men to ten years in prison each for using fake bank cards to steal nearly $10,000 from local ATM booths.

Two months earlier, another two Chinese men from Guangxi Province, were jailed for seven years and 30 months respectively after a Hanoi court found them guilty of counterfeiting bank cards and appropriating property totaling $9,200.

 
 
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