On Thursday, the HCMC police recommended charging Nguyen Khac Viet, aged 47, and Tran Cam Tu, aged 51, for the alleged transportation of counterfeit currency.
In September 2021, an inquiry uncovered that Viet had purchased twelve sets of U.S. dollars in black coloration. Each set consisted of one hundred "$100" bills and was obtained from a person named Hung at a café located in District 5. The transaction amount totaled VND30 million ($1,232). Upon reaching home, Viet attempted to remove the black hue but was unsuccessful, leading to the realization that the bills were counterfeit. Consequently, he decided to conceal them away.
The investigators failed to provide any information regarding Viet's motivations for purchasing the stacks of counterfeit money.
Approximately one month later, Tu paid a visit to Viet's residence. During the encounter, Viet presented him with numerous bundles of counterfeit dollars and proceeded to inquire about potential avenues for their sale. Upon inspecting the currency, Tu swiftly deduced that they lacked any identifiable serial numbers, confirming their fraudulent nature. Consequently, Tu regretfully informed Viet that he was unaware of any individuals who would be interested in purchasing such falsified bills.
In May 2022, Tu embarked on a trip to Cambodia where he crossed paths with Kim Hen, a 60-year-old Thai woman. After getting acquainted, their friendship blossomed, leading to an invitation from Kim for Tu to join her at a café in District 1, Vietnam, three months later. During this meeting, Kim surprised Tu by revealing a black $100 bill, which resembled the ones owned by Viet. Curiosity piqued, she asked Tu if he knew anyone who might be interested in purchasing approximately 1,000 of these bills, totaling $100,000, in exchange for $5,000 in genuine currency.
Following the meeting, Tu informed Viet that an individual from Thailand expressed interest in purchasing the bundles of illicit cash. However, the condition for this transaction necessitated transporting the money to Thailand.
On September 15th, 2022, Tu reached out to Kim Hen via phone, requesting a meeting at Bangkok airport. Both Tu and Viet carefully placed counterfeit currency into a pair of suitcases, as they devised their itinerary to travel to Thailand.
Nevertheless, at Tan Son Nhat Airport, customs officers grew doubtful and uncovered a staggering amount of 10,518 counterfeit $100 bills. Initially, these officers were under the impression that they had stumbled upon genuine currency; however, after careful analysis, they eventually detected the falsification.