Three people are facing charges after an RCMP investigation into a luxury vehicle export scheme that saw several Canadians lose millions of dollars.
According to police, a man would use straw buyers and other associates to fraudulently purchase vehicles and export them to Vietnam for their resale.
A straw buyer is a person who purchases something for another person in an effort to circumvent legal restrictions or to commit fraud.
Police claim 43 luxury vehicles were purchased and the funds were then filtered back to the man and not to the straw buyers.
The financing for the vehicles defaulted, police said, and cost financial institutions more than $2.6 million and ruined the credit of the straw buyers.
Police estimate the value of the vehicles sold in Vietnam would be about $10 million CDN.
“The victims of this scheme have suffered considerable loss, including bankruptcy, financial ruin and mental and emotional stress,” Const. Phil Pinon said.
“If you do not need to purchase a vehicle for yourself, do not purchase a vehicle at all. You will be held solely responsible for the payments and the effect it will have on your financial status.”
Duy Hung Nguyen was arrested in Burnaby, B.C. on June 9 and is facing seven charges including fraud over $5,000, making and uttering forged documents and money laundering.
Police allege Nguyen was the one selling the vehicles in Vietnam.
Also charged are Quyen Hong Tran and Thi Kim Hoang Quan. Both are also facing charges of fraud over $5,000 as well as other related charges.
Police believe Nguyen has conducted similar schemes in other jurisdictions across the country. He has been known to use several aliases that police said include Ken, Mike, Hung, Tomy and Ryan.
A number of agencies across Canada were involved in the investigation including Alberta Gaming Liquor & Cannabis, Canada Revenue Agency, Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Canada Border Services Agency, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Edmonton Police Service and Saskatoon Police Service.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this crime is asked to call the Edmonton RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime section at 780-412-5530 or to email KSOCEdmonton@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.