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Gang defrauds 1,000 people by impersonating military officers

Update: February, 26/2020 - 07:30
56-year-old Hoa Hữu Long (left), who claimed to be a general at the Ministry of Defence, and his 48-year-old wife Cao Thị Kim Loan. — Handout photo from the Hà Nội police

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội Police said on Monday they had concluded an investigation into 14 members of a criminal ring who posed as high-ranking defence officers and set up a fake corporation to defraud people with false promises of employment.

The alleged ring leaders have been named as 56-year-old Hoa Hữu Long, who claimed to be a general at the Ministry of Defence, and his 48-year-old wife Cao Thị Kim Loan, who live in Bắc Từ Liêm District, Hà Nội.

In February 2018, the Department of Military Security started receiving multiple complaints about a certain “General Hoa Hữu Long” who had scammed people out of large amounts of money by falsely promising to secure them jobs at the so-called Đông Dương Corporation under the defence ministry.

The department checked and found there was no general of that name working at the ministry and the corporation did not exist, so the case was forwarded to Hà Nội Police for investigation.

Two months later, police launched legal proceedings against the suspects. 

According to the findings, taking advantage of planned restructuring of military-owned corporations, Hoa Hữu Long and his accomplices had forged documents to falsely lead people to believe the defence ministry was planning to set up Đông Dương Corporation and would need employees.

Prospective staff were asked to pay VNĐ 65-150 million (US$2,800-$6,480) to get jobs at the group.

During each interviews with job hopefuls, Long and accomplices wore military uniforms of different ranks and showed their victims “confidential” military documents, refusing to let them take photos or make copies of them.

In total, nearly 1,000 people were scammed from 2016 to April 2018, with nearly VNĐ83 billion ($3.6 million) stolen.

The assets of Long, his wife and their accomplices have been frozen. — VNS

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