Police in Vientiane Capital have arrested three people on fraud charges after they took money from hundreds of people under the guise of an assistance scheme.
Head of Chanthabouly Public Security Office in Vientiane Capital, Lieutenant Colonel Phonechai Phamongkhoun, says police were alerted by victims of the fraudsters in March.
A 43-year-old woman, identified as Ms. Vannaphone, residing in That Luang Kang, Saysettha District of Vientiane Capital, and two 60-year-old men, identified as Mr. Phonesavanh and Mr. Vongkod, were arrested on 31 March this year.
Ms. Vannaphone admitted to fabricating information and claiming that she was helping international organizations to provide funds to help poor and disadvantaged people in Laos.
She told victims that if they deposited a registration fee of LAK 500,000 with her in cash, they would then receive assistance funds from international organizations in European countries.
Victims were told they would receive as much as USD 50,000 in their bank accounts as part of assistance from NGOs abroad.
The group collected the false registration fees from some 780 people, netting themselves a total of LAK 390 million (nearly USD 40,000).
After her arrest, Ms. Vannaphone identified her accomplices, providing their information to police.
“I wasn’t working alone. I collaborated with Mr. Phonesavanh and Mr. Vongkod, and the money I earned was split between the three of us,” Ms. Vannaphone admitted.
Authorities were able to recover USD 1,300, LAK 10 million, nearly USD 1000 worth of gold, and a Hyundai Starex van, which were returned to victims.
Police are now concluding the investigation and will continue with legal proceedings.