Vietnamese jailed for promising fake jobs in Taiwan, Netherlands

By Hai Binh   January 3, 2017 | 08:09 pm PT
Vietnamese jailed for promising fake jobs in Taiwan, Netherlands
Hoang Thi Dao at the trial in Nghe An Province on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress
She cheated 100 jobseekers from the impoverished central region out of more than $80,000.

A court in the central province of Nghe An sentenced a woman to 12 years in jail on Tuesday for swindling over 100 poor job-seekers into paying her $82,700 for non-existent work in Taiwan and the Netherlands.

Hoang Thi Dao, 52, started the scheme after she spent four years working in Taiwan, according to the indictment.

In June 2012, she began telling prospective migrants about vacancies at a food company in Taipei and asked interested candidates to pay her VND5 million ($220) for training and health examinations.

She also advertised more than 50 vacancies at a dairy farm in the Netherlands, promising wages of at least $1,000 a month. Those who wanted the job had to pay her $500 -- a “labor export fee.” Vietnam's average annual income was around $2,200 last year, according to the General Statistics Office.

Although Dao lacked a labor export license, nearly 100 people in Nghe An and neighboring Ha Tinh Province trusted her sales pitch and the small receipts she gave each of them.

She also took all the candidates to Hanoi for health examinations, before asking each person for another $1,300 to cover airline tickets and visa fees.

The victims contacted police after waiting for their flights for months. By the time investigators caught up to her, Dao had sold her house, left the province and could not be reached by phone.

Police arrested Dao in early 2015 in the Central Highlands and ordered her to return VND1.88 billion ($82,700) to her victims.

Vietnamese official labor exporters sent 98,410 workers overseas in the first ten months of 2016, according to reports from the companies. But there are also a large number of those working abroad illegally.

Many of the overseas workers are from the impoverished central region where harsh weather conditions tolerate few business options.

Official government reports show at least a million still live in hunger and roughly 10 percent of the population remains below the poverty line, an average annual income of less than $374.

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