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Vietnamese nationals accused of running ‘underground bank’

TOKYO (TR) – Law enforcement divisions in multiple locations, including Yamaguchi and Yamagata prefectures and Tokyo, last week announced the arrest of three Vietnamese nationals for operating what is considered an “underground bank,” which funneled money illegally from Japan to Vietnam, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 7).

Between November, 2017 and last July, Dao Thi Huong Giang, the 34-year-old manager of a trading company in Chiba Prefecture, allegedly sent about 1.35 million yen from five Vietnamese nationals residing in Japan to the bank accounts of their family members in Vietnam.

Police have accused the suspects of violating the Banking Act regarding unlicensed operations. “I didn’t consider it a crime,” Dao told police in partially denying the allegations. A male suspect denies the allegations. Meanwhile, the third suspect, a woman, has declined to comment, police said.

Dao Thi Huong Giang
Dao Thi Huong Giang (Twitter)

Utilizing Dao’s company, money collected in cash from the residents in Japan was sent to accounts in Japan. Though the suspects did not charge a commission, they did set the exchange used in the transactions.

Using this method, the suspects are believed to have sent a total of 460 million yen from Japan to Vietnam, police said.