A 45-year-old Nigerian man and three Vietnamese women were on
Thursday, December 14, sentenced to jail by a court in Can Tho City in
southern Vietnam for duping people including 40 women around the country
out of more than VND20 billion ($900,000).
Micheal Ikechukwu Leonard and his gang duped nearly 40 women into
paying customs fees for non-existent expensive gifts from overseas.
Leonard received 18 years in prison, while Huynh Ha Binh, Huynh Ha
Uyen and Nguyen Tran Quynh Nhi, all from Ho Chi Minh City, got between
12 to 15 years each.
According to the indictment, Leonard and Binh, 27, started living
together in August 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City before moving to Cambodia
and opening a fashion shop.
While in Cambodia, the duo hatched a plan to con rich Vietnamese
women via the social media. Facebook’s Messenger and Zalo are the two
most popular chat apps in Vietnam.
The Nigerian man used fake accounts and described himself as a rich
man or even a U.S. Army officer who had just gone through a divorce and
He approached wealthy women and tried to build a relationship with them, and as many as 37 fell for the trick.
To gain their trust, Leonard told the women he would send them
valuable gifts such as laptops, cellphones, jewelry and cosmetics from
When the women were sucked in, Binh, Uyen and Nhi pretended to be
Vietnamese customs officers and contacted the women, telling them that
packages sent to them contained expensive goods or large amounts of
foreign currency, so the women would have to pay a customs fee or even a
In late March 2016, after the group had conned a woman in Can Tho
City out of VND650 million ($28,500), Leonard and the other three were
arrested. See previous report here
They all confessed to their crimes in court.
Binh and Leonard have a child together, and the baby is now with Binh’s parents.