The arrests were the result of investigations triggered by a complaint made in late April by a woman in Hue Town in central Vietnam. She told the police that she’d been scammed online by a foreigner and ended up losing VND3.9 billion ($168,000).
In tracing the money, the police discovered it had been transferred into different bank accounts and withdrawn from different ATMs in Ho Chi Minh City.
After more than 15 days of investigation in HCMC, the police of Thua Thien – Hue Province arrested three Nigerians: Ugochukwu Samuel Nnaemeka, 24; Stanley Chidiebere Umed, 29; and Nnaka Chibuzor Frankline, 36. They also arrested three Vietnamese citizens: Ngo Hai Nghi, 24; Vu Ai Linh, 24; and Dao Dang Vu, 33.
Using testimony collected from these people, the police found and arrested Pham Ngoc Duy, who claimed to have bought bank accounts that he sold to the gang for VND7-8 million ($301-344) each.
Duy also helped this group to withdraw money at the ATMs for a two percent commission.
From what Duy told the police, they detained three more Nigerians: Chukwugekwe Godwin Ajearo, 34; Ugochukuwu Okechukwu Jam, 35; and Ogo Emeka Donal, 35.
These three were not involved in the case involving the Hue victim but in many other fraud cases in the provinces of Tuyen Quang, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Quang Nam and HCMC.
All suspects were residing in HCMC. The timing of their arrests was not revealed.
Police in Thua Thien-Hue said the suspects were part of an international criminal organization that appropriated assets in close relationship with domestic accomplices. Their kingpin is Dalaxy Dave, a Nigerian man currently in Cambodia, they added.
According to the investigation, Daxaly used Facebook, Zalo, Whatsapp and other social media means to make friends with Vietnamese victims and gain their trust. He also pretended to be a US soldier who sends expensive gifts to Vietnam and asked the victims to invest money in overseas businesses with him.
Daxaly also instructed the accomplices in Vietnam to hack the victims’ Facebook accounts, pretend to be the police and legal officials to make threatening phone calls, forcing them to deposit money into different accounts.
Using this modus operandi, they have appropriated VND120 billion ($5.2 million) from many victims across the country. The police have found 71 bank accounts and more than 53 fake identification cards as well as multiple Facebook accounts associated with the crime.
The case is being investigated further, police said.
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