Thai police bust US$3m phone scam gang

A gang of 44 people from China and Taiwan have been arrested in Thailand for running an elaborate phone scam that conned $3 million from scores of victims, police said Monday. Raids on houses in the capital Bangkok and the sleazy resort town of Pattaya snared the well-organized gang, whose targets were mainly based in China. Police seized homemade sound-proof booths used to call the victims, who were carefully selected for their vulnerability. "There were about 120 victims of this fraud, which was worth about 100 million (baht) ($2.9 million)," an officer from immigration told AFP, requesting anonymity. Nineteen of the suspects are from China and 25 from Taiwan. Posing as police, bank officials or money laundering inspectors the suspects spun stories of financial irregularities linked to the victims' bank accounts. "They told victims their bank accounts had been frozen due to criminal activity such as drug dealing," Immigration Police Chief Natthathorn Prousoontorn told reporters on Sunday. They then persuaded the victims to transfer money to clear the cooked-up problems, through other 'officials' working with the gang. "Each fraudster played a different role... some pretended to be bank officials... some pretended to be police." The victims lived alone and had no-one to consult before falling for the scam, Natthathorn added. With porus borders, cheap living and large communities of ex-pats to hide amongst, Thailand has long been a regional hub for crime gangs. Recently immigration police have arrested hundreds of foreign criminals in a "good guys in, bad guys…... [read more]

The street has been known as an antique centre, displaying fine art objects, either genuine or fake, in about 30 shops, along with other items for sale on the pavements. There is a wide range of wood and stone statues, porcelain and bronze items from small coins and pots only several centimetres high to large things like vintage electric fans and antique furniture. Visitors can see ancient ceramic pots, bowls and plates inlaid with mother of pearl, and jars full of jagged coin chains being stuck together in blocks, which are said to have been salvaged from ancient shipwrecks hundreds of years ago. Many shops sell genuine antiques found somewhere near Chàm Island off the coast of Bình Thuận province. They include plates, pots, jars, and even the priceless “Nội phủ trân chế” plates that were used by the royal family during the Nguyễn dynasty. Most shop owners are professional antique collectors. They offer things at fixed prices and spare little time for customers who want to haggle with them. Many simply look at their appearance to guess who could afford to buy or not. Usually after a few minutes of negotiation a bargain is finally reached. Those who dare to buy antiques must know how to tell the difference between the genuine and the fake. However, some sellers play a trick on buyers, just saying their things are “old”. Trần Minh Tuệ, one of the shop owners, says antiques shops are only transferred from father to son. “Each shop…... [read more]

This is the result of cooperation between Duc Anh Company of Vietnam and Pearson - world's leading international education company – to launch such tests in Vietnam, said Lu Thi Hong Nham, CEO of Duc Anh Company. Matthew Lampkin, a representative from Pearson Company, said with the PTE Academic test, local students will have a chance to assess their English comprehensively. Pearson has set up PTE Academic testing centres in many countries and territories in Asia, such as Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong (China) and Taiwan (China).... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - More Chinese businesses have set up wooden furniture processing factories in Vietnam order to take advantage of preferential tariffs importers are offering to Vietnamese exports. Vietnam is one of the favored destinations. Of the 500 foreign-invested wooden furniture enterprises now operating in Vietnam, one-third are from China and Taiwan. Binh Duong Province attracts most of the capital, with 29 out of 100 newly invested factories by mid-2016 belonging to Chinese and Taiwanese enterprises with initial investment capital of $82.4 million. There are a total of 900 enterprises in the country from China and Taiwan, capitalized at $5.5 billion.More Chinese businesses have set up wooden furniture processing factories in Vietnam order to take advantage of preferential tariffs importers are offering to Vietnamese exports. “In recent years, many Chinese enterprises have been quietly relocating their factories to Vietnam under many different ways,” said Nguyen Ton Quyen, secretary general of Vifores. Vietnam can provide timber materials, while exports from Vietnam to the EU and US are taxed at only 0-4 percent. Huynh Van Hanh, deputy chair of Hawa, said that many Chinese buy Vietnamese unprofitable or bankrupt businesses and run businesses under Vietnamese names. He said about 30 new Chinese investors wanted to set up business because of preferences offered for exports from Vietnam. This has hurt Vietnamese enterprises. Luu Phuoc Loc, director of Mtrade in Binh Duong province, noted that many Chinese had registered investments in Binh Duong province, but had not organized production in Binh Duong. They bring…... [read more]

The gold medal went to Nguyen Duc Minh from Amsterdam High School in Hanoi, Do Hoang Anh from the National University of Hanoi, Huynh Minh Toan from Le Qui Don gifted school in Da Nang and Nguyen Tat Nghia from Phan Boi Chau gifted school in Nghe An. Tran Anh Vu from private-run Dao Duy Tu high school in Hanoi bagged a bronze medal. As a result, Vietnam was listed among the top five medal winners of the competition. China and Taiwan topped the tally with five gold medals each while Vietnam and India took four gold medals each. This is the first time Vietnam has won the most medals since it took part in IPhO competitions in 1982. IPhO 2008 attracted 376 students from 82 countries and territories, of whom 44 students won gold medals. The closing ceremony of the competition will be held at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi and will be broadcast live on Vietnam Television (VTV) at 16.30.... [read more]

China and Taiwan led the competition with five golds, followed by the Republic of Korea, India, the US and Vietnam, winning four golds each. This is the first time Vietnam has achieved the best result since it took part in IPhO competitions in 1982. IPhO 2008 attracted 376 students from 82 countries and territories competing in theory and practice tests.Addressing the awards ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan highlighted the students' efforts in the competition, saying “Hopefully, you will try your best to become famous scientists to contribute to your countries and world peace”. He added that international competitions such as IPhO 2008 will lay foundations for all competitors’ future success. Professor Maija Ahtee, IPhO acting chairperson, expressed her deepest gratitude to the organisers for holding such a successful competition. “They have made this event the most enjoyable and memorable to all of us,” she said. She also thanked some 600 Vietnamese volunteer students for assisting the participating delegations during the competition. At the ceremony, Vietnam handed over the torch to Mexico which will host the 40th IPhO in Merida city from July 12-19, 2009.... [read more]

The article said Samsung Electronics Vietnam Co. Ltd (SEV) controls 20 percent of the world’s market share and plans to produce 240 million smart phones in 2013. These grand ambitions reveal Vietnam is hoping to usurp China as the world’s largest smart phone producer as soon as possible. The SEV’s plan has not only gifted Vietnam’s electronics industry trickledown benefits, but also generated thousands of jobs and helped infrastructure development. SEV’s factories are all located in the northern region, facilitating the import and export of components and goods to and from important markets like Japan, China, and Taiwan. According to the US-based International Data Corporation, international vendors are expected to ship 918.6 million smartphones in 2013. , China currently remains the world leader, producing around 50 percent of the world’s smartphones. Samsung’s plan to boost its Vietnamese production activities in indicates the country could take over China’s position in the future.... [read more]

Seeking direct contracts As a key export item, coffee products earned US$1.8 billion in 2008, but it is suffering numerous difficulties this year as the export price of coffee is dropping on the world market. Hoang Vinh Tuan, director of the Thai Hoa Coffee Company – a leading Vietnamese coffee exporter, says that the demand for coffee product only saw a light decrease, but the price continues to fall. Moreover, foreign speculation funds have teamed up to corner the global coffee market, resulting in a sharp decrease in coffee prices, from US$2,800/tonne in March 2008 to US$1,560/tonne at present. Domestic coffee businesses are facing many difficulties caused by the falling price of coffee, particularly large-scale producers with substantial investment capital. According to Mr Tuan, some businesses have surfed big losses, worth billions of VND, as their export price was VND1 million per tonne lower than the price of input materials. To cope with this, he said, his company has had to reduce its reliance on coffee traders to export their coffee products. The company is looking for ways to promote direct contact with coffee producers rather than traders. He suggests that apart from traditional markets, such as the United States and the European Union, domestic coffee exporters should focus on other markets, such as China and Taiwan. The Thai Hoa Coffee Company plans to open a representative office in Geneva, Switzerland, where there are a large number of world leading coffee groups, in order to seek out contracts for Vietnamese…... [read more]

This was announced on March 19 at a working session between local authorities and representatives of the project’s main investors, Hong Kong’s Luenthai Holdings Limited, VINATEX investment JSC and China’s Sanshui Jialida Textile Co, Ltd. At the session provincial authorities were asked to create enough space and the best possible conditions for investors. They were also requested to grant a license to build a power plant and a port to meet the demand for the industrial park’s activities. Doan Hong Phong, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that the province isfirmly committed to making sufficient space available by no later than the fourth quarter of this year. Representatives of the investors said that that they anticipate obtaining sufficient space and commencing construction by the end of the year and begin adding secondary investors six months later. The IP is expected to attract investors from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan in the field of textile, dyeing, leather, garment and support industries. When fully operational, the IP will create industrial production value of US$3billion - 4 billion each year, contributing tax of some US$300-400 million to the state budget and generating160,000 jobs.... [read more]

Last year, the total area of tilapia aquaculture at ponds and lakes nationwide spanned 15,992 hectares with total output spiking up over 25% to 125,000 tonnes compared against the prior year. Great potential for export markets Tilapia now has become a key aquatic product for consumers in both the domestic and foreign markets. Last year, Vietnam exported tilapia to more than 60 nations around the globe. The top ten import markets of Vietnam’s tilapia included the US, UKSpain, Columbia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, , Czech Republic and Italy. The US remained the key market for tilapia at 1.745 tonnes valued at US$5.241 million, accounting for 18.2% of the country’s total market share, trailed by Spain and Colombia. However, Vietnam’s tilapia exports have remained relatively low in relation to their potential, according to the Directorate of Fisheries. Ten years ago, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) began implementing a project to develop tilapia as a key aquatic export. However, tilapia output has not expanded as anticipated and hasn’t kept pace with domestic demand. Moreover international marketing efforts have been stagnate as the industry, fraught with raw material shortages and lack of investment funds, simply isn’t in any position to make or keep large foreign commitments China and Taiwan have now become the world’s leading tilapia exporters with an export volume in excess of US$1.3 billion per year, buoyed by the export price of tilapia in the US market, which has been hovering at between US$3.8 and US$4.2 over…... [read more]

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