Vietnamese tycoon and internet celebrity arrested for 'abusing democratic freedoms'

By Quoc Thang, Dinh Van   March 24, 2022 | 05:55 am PT
Vietnamese tycoon and internet celebrity arrested for 'abusing democratic freedoms'
Nguyen Phuong Hang at a police station in HCMC. Photo courtesy of the police
A Vietnamese businesswoman who became an internet sensation after criticizing multiple celebrities in Facebook livestream videos was arrested Thursday night on accusations of "abusing democratic freedoms."

Nguyen Phuong Hang, 51, general director of the Dai Nam Joint Stock Company in southern Binh Duong Province, was arrested by Ho Chi Minh City police pending investigation for "abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, lawful rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens."

Last month, Hang was temporarily banned from leaving the country until the end of April following multiple accusations of slander and insults.

Hang, born Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, is known for being ostentatious, not hesitant to flaunt about her riches. She and her husband, Huynh Uy Dung, former general director of the Dai Nam company, are both famous for their lavish lifestyles and philanthropy.

Starting a year ago, she stormed the online community with a live-streamed, most watched expose of several celebrities on her Facebook page. The hours-long videos attracted hundreds of thousands of views each, some of which criticized celebrities for being not transparent about charity money collected from other people.

On video on May 25, attracting around 300,000 viewers, mentioned rumors about Saigon-based comedian Hoai Linh and the VND13.4 billion ($581,742) he raised to support flood victims in the central region in October 2020. She said he had done nothing to distribute the money after six months.

In other videos, she said actress Hong Van used foul language when mentioning her fans, while singer Vy Oanh had earned a huge amount of money after having a child with a rich man. Singer Dam Vinh Hung had not been transparent in distributing money he collected from others, while Vo Hoang Yen was a conman cheating people of money by promising to cure them, Hang said.

Police investigation into her accusations have confirmed no criminal violations yet.

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