Property developer takes $370M from 20,000 people with non-existent projects

By Viet Tuan   September 30, 2023 | 11:00 pm PT
Property developer takes $370M from 20,000 people with non-existent projects
Vu Thi Thuy, general director of property developer Nhat Nam Group, speaks at an event in 2022. Photo courtesy of Nhat Nam Group
Property developer Nhat Nam Group collected around VND9 trillion ($US370.3 million) from 20,000 people without any real estate projects as advertised, the public security ministry said.

At a Saturday government meeting, To An Xo, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, said the money had been gained through 45,525 business deals in the 2020-2022 period.

Nhat Nam had spent over VND2.27 trillion of it to pay those who mobilized the money. The firm's general director, Vu Thi Thuy, used over VND635 billion as her personal expenses, the ministry said.

Just over 110 investors have been cooperating with authorities during the investigation, saying over VND138 billion had been stolen from them.

Thuy said Nhat Nam's investments and businesses have yet to generate profit, and an initial investigation revealed that the firm does not have any real estate projects in Hoa Binh Province in northern Vietnam and Binh Thuan Province in the central region like how it had advertised to people, Xo said.

In 2019, Thuy established the Nhat Nam firm, but did not have any stakes in the company. The firm's financial reports from 2019 to early 2021 revealed that the company was operating at a loss during the period.

Authorities accused Thuy of having delivered false information on several real estate projects, promising people return interest rates at 34-46%. But in fact, Thuy used the money given to her to pay for the return interests of those who had given her money earlier.

Thuy also organized conferences, with two in March and July 2022 attracting over 5,500 people. She also opened 32 representative offices in Hanoi, HCMC and other localities to promote the company and mobilize more money.

Thuy was arrested by Hanoi police on September 8 to be investigated for obtaining property by fraud.

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