Three Vietnamese jailed for aiding Malaysian fraudster

By Ngoc Truong   May 9, 2023 | 06:03 pm PT
Three Vietnamese jailed for aiding Malaysian fraudster
Ho Van Nghia, Nguyen Duy Phuong and Nguyen Van Do stand before the Da Nang People's Court, May 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Trang Chi
Three Vietnamese have been sentenced to prison for selling bank accounts to a Malaysian conman.

The Da Nang People’s Court sentenced 27-year-old Ho Van Nghia to 17 years in prison on Monday, while 33-year-old Nguyen Duy Phuong got 16 years and Nguyen Van Do, 22, got 13 years.

All three were convicted of "appropriation of property using a computer network, telecommunications network, or electronic device."

In September 2019, a person named Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen asked Nghia to open bank accounts so those accounts could be sold for VND2.5 million ($106.54) each. Tuyen then introduced Nghia to a Malaysian named Jackson Liew.

Liew rented an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City for Nghia and Tuyen to stay in.

In January 2022, Tuyen was arrested by Quang Nam Province police and jailed for property appropriation.

Nghia said he knew opening bank accounts and selling them to Liew meant serving a group of fraudsters masquerading as authorities to scare people into giving them money, but he went on with it and worked for Liew anyway.

Nghia then contacted Phuong to request the opening of more bank accounts. Authorities said Phuong knew Nghia would use the bank accounts for illegal purposes, but he still opened four accounts and hired others to open even more. Do, a relative of Phuong, opened 10 accounts and gave them all to Phuong.

Besides opening bank accounts, Nghia also used the accounts himself to invest in cryptocurrency and send funds to Liew's digital wallet.

Authorities said four people in Da Nang, Can Tho and Vinh Long had been tricked and defrauded of a total of VND5.1 billion by Liew’s group.

Da Nang police have sent documents to Malaysia requesting cooperation in disciplining Liew, but so far there has been no response.

Authorities said Liew’s group asked its victims to install apps that were replicas of the logo of the Ministry of Public Security. The victims were then ordered to enter their personal information into the apps. The conmen would then take control of victims’ phones, sending their money to bank accounts – or they would order the victims to send the money themselves.

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