Malaysians, Taiwanese run extortion scam posing as Vietnamese police

By Phan Anh   January 20, 2020 | 01:43 pm GMT+7
Malaysians, Taiwanese run extortion scam posing as Vietnamese police
Ten people, part of a scam group masquerading as the police to steal money from Vietnamese, are held at a police station in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Police Newspaper.

Two Malaysians are among 10 people detained last week for involvement in a Taiwanese-directed scam cheating Vietnamese citizens of VND500 billion ($21.5 million).

Malaysians Long Boon Leng, 29, and Lim Kean Kew, 24; Cao Ngoc Nhi, 22 and Do Thi Dong, 27, who reside in Cambodia; and six other Vietnamese were detained last week, police in the central province of Quang Nam said Sunday.

The case first broke when five residents of Quang Nam reported that callers posing as the police had cheated them of VND7 billion ($302,000).

The Malaysians were instructed by ringleaders in Taiwan to buy personal info of Vietnamese citizens, although how they did this was not revealed. The information was used by the gang to call Vietnamese citizens using fake numbers. They threatened the Vietnamese with various ploys, telling them that they owed money to the banks, were suspected of involvement in money laundering cases or have had their personal information leaked.

The victims were told to create bank accounts and provide all the information to the gang. They were told that the accounts were to meet investigation fees and that the money would be returned to them if they were found innocent.

Such scamming methods are not new in Vietnam and several such instances have been reported in recent years.

Police said the ring had the personal bank information of around 100,000 Vietnamese citizens, including names, phone numbers and addresses.

Leng was determined to be the ringleader who, under instructions from Taiwan, operated with the Vietnamese locals in running the scam.

Dozens of phones, laptops, ATM cards, storage devices and other documents have been seized by the police. Based on the number of retrieved bank cards, the group has scammed over VND500 billion in Vietnam alone.

The ring is being investigated further.

 
 
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