Viet Nam News
CẦN THƠ — The People’s Court in Mekong Delta’s Cần Thơ City sentenced one foreigner and three Vietnamese to prison for cheating 37 people of some VNĐ5.3 billion (US$235,500) via social network Facebook.
Nigerian Micheal Ikechukwu Leonard, 45, head of the ring, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for appropriating property.
Huỳnh Hạ Bình, 27, Nguyễn Trần Quỳnh Nhi, 26, and Huỳnh Hạ Uyển, 25, from HCM City, received 10-15 years in prison for the same crime, the online newspaper Vietnamplus reported.
The court has ordered them to return the money to the victims.
According to the indictment of the People’s Procuracy of Cần Thơ City, in August 2014, Bình became acquainted with Leonard via the Internet. Bình then went to Cambodia, where they lived together as husband and wife. The couple opened clothing stores to sell products imported from Thailand, Indonesia and Việt Nam for sale in Cambodia and Nigeria.
In Cambodia, Micheal and Bình had a friend named Landlord (unknown origin) who joinied a fraud group to cheat people via Facebook.
In March 2015, the couple joined Landlord’s scam group.
Every day, Micheal sent messages to Vietnamese women, introducing himself as a rich man who had been unlucky in marriage. He used several foreign names and different personal information to cheat the women.
After a period of acquaintance, Micheal told the women he wanted to marry them and promised to give them valuable gifts such as laptops, mobile phones, jewellery, cosmetics and dollars.
Michael and his accomplices took pictures of the gifts and asked the girls to provide their addresses, and phone numbers to receive the gifts through the delivery company.
Bình, Uyển and Nhi used promotional phone numbers to call the victims to inform them of the gifts that were sent from abroad. They asked the victims to pay a fee to receive the gifts.
After the money was transferred, the swindlers ended all contact immediately.
By the end of March 2016, all the accused were arrested in HCM City. Police also seized Vietnamese currency, US dollars, mobile phones and iPads. — VNS