Korean, Vietnamese agencies bust phone scam hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: kunc.org)

The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s police and authorised Vietnamese agencies recently arrested 34 people involved in a phone scam ring, including 31 RoK nationals, two Vietnamese and one Chinese.

The Seoul police department said on October 18 that the ringleader is a 32-year-old RoK national surnamed Kim who was arrested for committing phone scams.

The ring members set up a phone line based in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and introduced themselves as RoK police officers, prosecutors or bank staff members.

The gang persuaded individuals that they were victims of bank fraud and ordered them to send money to its bank account; otherwise their bank deposits could be lost.

From April to September this year, the ring swindled 210 RoK nationals out of 490 million KRW (over 433,700 USD), local police said.

The Seoul police uncovered the ring in Vietnam through investigating detainees accused of illegally buying and selling bankbooks in the RoK in April. The police asked its Vietnamese partners to apprehend the ring on September 12.

A Seoul police officer said breaking up the phone scam ring was important to preventing the group from expanding in Vietnam and China, adding that the department is pursuing two other members of the ring who remain at large and probing into the ring’s connections with other crime gangs in Vietnam and China.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office of the RoK reported that phone scams have mushroomed in the country in recent years, up from 22,351 cases in 2012 to 35,859 last year.-VNA