Six Taiwanese were among 12 people jailed for swindling over VND5.5 billion ($236,000) from Vietnamese citizens in a phone scam.
The Quang Nam People’s Court in central Vietnam Saturday found the 12 guilty of participating in a swindling scheme that involved people masquerading as officials on the phone. VNExpress, a local media reported.
Among the Taiwanese, Chung Shao Teng and Bian Zong Xun were sentenced to 12 years each, while Lo Yo Hsuan and Chang Fu Lung got 11 years each for obtaining property by fraud. Chang Sheng Ping and Chang Chia Pin were sentenced to two years for misprision, the offence of concealing a crime.
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The six Vietnamese citizens who participated in the scam were sentenced to 5-12 years for obtaining property by fraud.
The 12 defendants must also financially compensate their victims with VND2 billion ($86,000), the court ruled.
According to VNExpress, the Taiwanese and their Vietnamese accomplices first opened several bank accounts. They then look on the Internet for the personal info of Vietnamese who have bank accounts, then used a software to create fake phone numbers and contacted the victims.
They masqueraded as authoritative figures, for example officials from the Ministry of Public Security, saying they were investigating criminal cases like drug trafficking, and demanded that the victims send money into the bank accounts they had prepared earlier to “assist with the investigation,” the court heard.