Nigerian arrested in HCMC for laundering foreign criminal money

By Quoc Thang   April 27, 2024 | 06:00 pm PT
Nigerian arrested in HCMC for laundering foreign criminal money
Several Nigerian and Vietnamese suspects in a money laundering case are arrested in HCMC, April 2024. Photo courtesy of the police
A Nigerian man was detained in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday for allegedly forming over 250 companies to launder money for other foreign-based criminals.

Eneh Davidson Caleb, 28, along with his Vietnamese wife Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, 35, and 11 others have been detained by HCMC police on charges of money laundering and illegally trafficking money across borders.

Earlier this month, police received reports about a company in Ukraine that had been conned by a criminal group using forged email addresses. The company had agreed to transfer money into certain bank accounts in HCMC per the fraudsters’ request.

By tracing the money flow, police discovered that the money was transferred several times before being withdrawn and brought to Cambodia.

Investigators then discovered the ring was a foreign group cooperating with Vietnamese collaborators. Police launched a full-scale investigation into the group, collecting evidence to ascertain their exact identities, locations, and crush the entirety of their criminal activities.

Investigators identified 13 suspects in relation to the case. They discovered that the suspects had formed a total of 250 companies, either directly or by hiring someone else to do so. They had also opened fraudulent bank accounts they used for criminal activities, investigators said.

The police then identified over 100 bank accounts related to the case.

Having by then accumulated all the digital evidence they needed, law enforcement agency forces raided 12 locations to seize physical evidence. At Caleb and his wife’s house, special forces confiscated 234 seals belonging to the companies formed for the sake of money laundering.

HCMC police raid several locations related to a money laundering case. Video courtesy of the police

Authorities said the criminals had been conning foreign companies into giving them money that they would then transfer to companies formed in Vietnam, masquerading as partners of the conned firms. These funds would then be transferred internationally multiple times before being withdrawn, according to authorities.

Investigators said the cash would eventually be transferred to the Yen Sao Kingfood facility on District 11's Le Dai Hanh Street, and the Duc Long gold shop on Tan Binh District's Pham Van Hai Street. The money would then be transported to Cambodia, police said.

Raids at the two aforementioned locations resulted in the confiscation of VND9 billion ($355,099) and $1.5 million in cash, along with other foreign currencies. Initial investigations revealed that the total value of illegal transactions at the Duc Long gold shop amounted to around VND13 trillion.

Further investigations into the case are ongoing.

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