Police in Thua Thien Hue Province arrested two men and three women Saturday for running a ring that illegally traded over 6.2 million pieces of personal data.
The arrestees are Le Dat, 34, Nguyen Thanh Quy, 38, Ngo Thi Hong Nhung, 24, Thai Thi Oanh, 23, and Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang, 35.
The five people will be detained pending investigation for “illegally posting or using information on computer networks and telecommunication networks,” an offense that carries a maximum prison term of seven years.
The arrests were made after over a year of investigations by the police, who estimate that the ring has made profits of VND2.3 billion ($101,085) from the illegal trade.
The Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention in Thua Thien Hue found that the ring had posted the sale of Vietnamese personal data on a Facebook page called “New data trading group 2020” with 300 active members, charging VND1,000 for each piece of information.
It appears that in August 2020, Dat, Quy, Nhung and Oanh discussed creating a Facebook page for selling personal data to customers in need.
Dat would be responsible for finding ‘partners’ to buy personal data while Quy, Nhung, and Oanh would sort data sources, check the status of purchased accounts and post ads on social networks.
Trang, a native of Thai Nguyen Province in northern Vietnam, was identified as the provider of personal data to the Dat’s ring.
Investigators said that since November 2020, the ring has sold over 6.2 million pieces of personal data of Vietnamese citizens, including over 75,000 pieces of residents in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
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