Nigerian , Four Others Arrested Over $513m Money Laundering In Vietnam

 Five suspects are under arrest for their involvement in a transnational crime ring with money laundering operations and illicit cross-border currency transportation in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday announced the dismantling of a transnational crime ring, uncovering money laundering operations and illicit cross-border currency transportation, with one gold shop alone involved in transactions totaling approximately VND13 trillion (US$512.9 million).

Authorities have launched legal proceedings against and temporarily detained 13 individuals in the case.

Of that, seven individuals were arrested for “money laundering,” including Mai Tra My, Mai Vu Minh, Le Thi Tham, Nguyen Thi Huong, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, Okoye Christinan Ikechukwu, and Eneh Davidson Caleb. 

Six others were arrested for “illegally transporting currency across the border,” namely Pham Van Nhan, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, Do Viet Dai, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Duong Dai Nghia, and Duong Thanh Hieu. 

However, Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy, who is pregnant, has been permitted to remain at her residence but is prohibited from leaving it.

Stacks of foreign currency cash amounts are seized in the case. Photo: Supplied

Previously, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security received reports regarding a Ukraine-based company being exploited by certain individuals, who used an email address resembling that of a South Korean company to exchange contents related to an economic contract. 

This led to mistaken money transfers to a Vietnamese bank account. 

Subsequently, the funds were distributed to multiple other accounts and misappropriated.

After urgent verification, on April 11, the police investigation agency of the department determined this to be the work of a criminal gang with both foreign and domestic involvement.

The investigation identified My, 32, hailing from Dak Lak Province, Minh, 29, also from Dak Lak Province, Tham, 48, from Ho Chi Minh City, Huong, 34, from Nam Dinh Province, Thu Thuy, 35, from Ho Chi Minh City, 39-year-old Nigerian Okoye Christinan Ikechukwy, and 28-year-old Nigerian Eneh Davidson Caleb as key figures in the transnational crime ring.

They utilized email hacking methods to manipulate economic transactions and contracts. 

The foreign individuals directed their Vietnamese counterparts to establish more than 250 shell companies and over 700 personal bank accounts, facilitating mistaken money transfers. 

The group then converted the received funds into U.S. dollars for transfers to Cambodia. 

They made cash withdrawals at the Kingfood bird’s nest facility in District 11 and the Duc Long gold shop in Tan Binh District. 

The former is owned and operated by Thu Thuy, 41, residing in Tan Phu District, and Nhan, 44, residing in District 11. 

The latter is owned and operated by Dai, 53, residing in Tan Binh District, and Ngan, 47, from Dak Lak Province.

The police investigation agency has verified over 100 related personal bank accounts, conducted searches at 12 locations, and detained numerous related items and documents. 

During the search at the residence of Thanh Thuy and her husband Eneh Davidson Caleb, authorities temporarily confiscated 234 seals belonging to shell companies established for their criminal purposes. 

Additionally, during searches at the Kingfood bird’s nest facility and the Duc Long gold shop, authorities temporarily seized more than VND9 billion (US$355,100), over US$1.5 million, and other foreign currencies in cash used by the suspects for illegal money transfers to Cambodia and currency exchange. 

Initial investigation documents indicate that Duc Long gold shop’s total illegal transactions amount to about VND13 trillion. 

Presently, the Ho Chi Minh City police are gathering evidence and expanding the investigation to thoroughly address all involved parties. 

Source :  Tuoi Tre/Tuoi Tre News


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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