Hanoi firm cons customers out of $8 mln through fake gold transactions

By Viet Dung   February 23, 2018 | 04:34 pm GMT+7
Hanoi firm cons customers out of $8 mln through fake gold transactions
The staff of IG at the police station in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the police
Around 500 people were tricked into investing in the company.

The People's Procuracy of Hanoi has prosecuted the chairman and eight members of staff at a gold trading firm for conducting an illegal business and conning customers.

According to prosecutors, Pham Duc Tai, chairman of International Gold Trading Joint Stock Company (IG) in Hanoi, instructed one of his staff to hire software to trade gold online in 2013.

The worker also forged paperwork to create a business license for a “ghost” company called NAPMIG that claimed to specialize in online gold trading in North America.

Tai and his staff then advertized IG as an authorized NAPMIG agency to customers, inviting them to invest in its virtual gold trading floor.

To invest in NAPMIG, customers had to deposit either $2,500 or $5,000 to open an account and start trading.

IG also told customers that the profit or loss they made was between them and NAPMIG, and IG would act as a middle man by charging a fee of $35 per lot, with one lot equaling eight taels of gold traded.

Aside from gold, customers were invited to trade in silver, oil and foreign currencies.

The technical team at IG then forged 13 trading codes and created false information leading customers to believe that $2.7 million had been deposited on the NAPMIG trading floor and that more than $2.9 million had been generated from that capital, convincing them that someone was making a profit.

Between November 2013 and February 2015, around 500 customers from different parts of the country poured more than $8.2 million into IG.

IG staff then forged paperwork to make it look like the deposits had been transferred to NAPMIG, when instead they all went into IG's account and then to Tai’s pocket.

Tai and his staff withdrew almost $5.5 million of the sum, and are being charged with asset appropriation.

More than 100 customers have presented their cases to local police.

Investigators also found that IG did not have a license to raise capital or trade in gold bars or deposits.

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