​Taiwanese, Vietnamese suspects arrested over $440,000 phone scams

​Taiwanese, Vietnamese suspects arrested over $440,000 phone scams

The suspects are held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese police have begun legal procedures against eight members of a gang, including Taiwanese and Vietnamese nationals, for appropriating a total of US$440,000 via telephone scams.

Officers under the Ministry of Public Security have apprehended and initiated legal proceedings against the suspects who are members of a transnational fraud ring.

The suspects included three Taiwanese, namely Pan Chu Lin, 21, Chiu Po, 21, and Hou Po Ta, 25, and five Vietnamese members aged 22 to 26.

Among them, 22-year-old Trang Thi Chau Doan has been released on bail to be able to take care of her young child.

The gang carried out their telephone scams between February and April, appropriating more than of VND10 billion (US$440,000).

Via the phone calls, they often claimed to be police officers, telling the victims that they were involved in a large-scale criminal operation.

The scammers would continue saying that the victims had been found owning multiple bank accounts, and that ‘competent authorities’ would freeze the accounts and arrest them.

If the victims wanted to prove their innocence, it meant they had been ‘hooked.’

The bogus officers then requested the victims to cooperate by declaring their assets.

In order for “investigators to verify the cash flow,” the victims were required to wire money in their bank accounts to the scammers.

The gang members also used high-tech devices to fake the initial digits of their phone numbers, which indicated that the numbers belonged to police departments.

Via the scams, a 74-year-old victim lost about VND6.1 billion ($268,400), while many others were conned out of VND100 million ($4,400) to VND1.5 billion ($66,000).

Officers discovered that the Taiwanese suspects had started the fraud ring and recruited the Vietnamese members to carry out the cons in the Southeast Asian country.

According to an official from the Ministry of Public Security, police will send a written document, not making phone calls, if they require the cooperation of local residents in their cases.

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