Vietnamese businesswoman arrested for ‘abusing democratic freedoms’

March, 25/2022 - 15:00

A Vietnamese businesswoman in HCM City who became an internet sensation after criticising a series of celebrities on Facebook livestream videos was arrested Thursday night for “abusing democratic freedoms.” 

 

Nguyễn Phương Hằng at the city police station. — Photo courtesy of the HCM City Police

HCM CITY — A Vietnamese businesswoman in HCM City who became an internet sensation after her very public criticisms of a series of celebrities on Facebook livestream videos was arrested Thursday night for “abusing democratic freedom rights."

According to the HCM City Police, Nguyễn Phương Hằng, 51, CEO of Đại Nam Joint Stock Company, was charged with the crime of abusing freedom rights to “infringe upon the interests of the State, and the legitimate rights and interests of organisations and individuals" under the Penal Code.

The Police’s Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention Department is currently searching her HCM City residences to collect more evidence. 

Following several claims of insulting others and slander last month, Hằng was forbidden from leaving the country until the end of April.

Hằng (real name Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tuyền) has found fame trying to impress others by ‘showing off.’ She and Huỳnh Uy Dũng, her husband and former general director of Đại Nam, are well known for their luxury lifestyles and charity work.

Over the past year, Hằng has attracted the online community’s attention with many of her Facebook livestream videos, mostly criticising celebrities for not being transparent about the collection of charity money worth billions of Vietnamese đồng.

Most of the hour-long videos attracted hundreds of thousands of views each.

Last May, a video claimed that well-known comedian Hoài Linh who raised VNĐ13.4 billion ($582,000) to assist flood victims in the central region in October 2020, did not distribute any of the money after six months.

Other celebrities criticised by Hằng include actress Hồng Vân as well as singers Đàm Vĩnh Hưng and Vy Oanh. She also criticised Võ Hoàng Yên for cheating patients by gaining their trust and offering false cures.

Police have investigated her accusations but none of the crimes has been confirmed. — VNS 

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