Wed, Dec 29, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Man arrested over US study scam in Vietnam

DPA , HANOI

A man has been arrested on suspicion of swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Viet-namese students trying to study in the US, police said yesterday.

Pham Van Khien, 43, was arrested on Monday evening after the scam was uncovered at the beginning of last month, an investigative police officer from Ho Chi Minh City said.

On Nov. 2, nearly 300 students at Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat Airport found they had been the victims of a scam when a promised flight to the US for study did not materialize, said the police officer, who spoke on a non-attributable basis.

"It is reported that these student had paid the company between US$3,000 to US$5,000 each," the police officer said.

"All documents, including letterheads of the US consulate shown by the group to these student and their families, are fake," the officer said.

The scam artists used the name "the Carlyle Group" for their fake education company, and the US embassy made clear earlier this month that the company had no legitimate US connections.

"The US Consulate General does not endorse or support any of the group's activities. This group also does not have any connection to the actual Carlyle Group based in Washington DC," the US consulate said in a statement.

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