Police in Ho Chi Minh City are searching for three Nigerian men who have allegedly cheated more than 20 Vietnamese women in different provinces and cities out of almost US$72,000 in total.
Chikelu Tobechukwu Samson, 33, Nkwocha Peter Emeka, 45, and Nmoruka Samuel Obumneme 38, are being hunted for investigation on charges of “appropriating property through swindling” pursuant to Article 139 of the Penal Code, police said on Sunday.
The search was launched after the Supreme People’s Procuracy handed the case file over to Ho Chi Minh City police for a probe at the end of August this year.
Accordingly, many Vietnamese women in different locations, including Ho Chi Minh City, told police officers that the three Nigerians had first promised to marry them but then conned them out of money.
The swindles took place from mid-2014 to January 2015, the victims said.
The foreigners were said to get acquainted with the women via Facebook and maintain their ties through chats.
When their relations became closer over time, the foreign men told their Vietnamese “girlfriends” that they would come to Vietnam to proceed with procedures to marry them.
They then claimed they had sent valuable gifts, including cash, to Vietnam for their “lovers,” and asked these women to transfer money to a bank account as payment for various expenses related to the delivery of the presents to them.
Believing the foreigners, many women transferred their money to the designated account only to find they could not contact the foreign men again or see any gifts sent to them.
After the investigation, police arrested two Vietnamese suspected of aiding the foreign gang in their scams in the middle of this year.
The detainees are Le Dung Tuyen, a 28-year-old man, and Tran Thuyen Ly, 27, who both opened accounts at local banks to receive the money transferred by the victims.
Ly said she was acquainted with Samson and some other Nigerian men in 2010 and these foreigners later asked her to open bank accounts in her name to receive payments from their business partners.
The foreigners promised to pay Ly a commission of 10 percent of the bank transfers.
Ly then asked Tuyen to use his name to open two bank accounts for the foreigners, she told investigators.
The victims also reported that these foreigners were also aided by another Vietnamese woman, Nguyen Thi Ngoc L., police said, adding that they are verifying the allegation.
The three foreign men previously lived in a rented house in District 7 but they have fled the residence for the past few months, police said.
The foreign gang cheated at least 21 women out of more than VND1.6 billion (nearly $72,000), according to investigators.