The Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention Department (PA05, Da Nang Police) has recently uncovered an illegal operation involving the collection and sale of bank account information, facilitated by bank employees themselves.
The police have summoned dozens of employees from 13 joint-stock commercial banks in various locations across the country for their involvement in providing and selling bank account information to H.D.N. (30 years old, residing in Lao Cai province).
1. Bank employees colluding with criminals
Some bank employees have been involved in exchanging and selling a large quantity of bank account information, with over 20 accounts being affected.
For example, Mr. N.M.D. (residing in Ho Chi Minh City, an employee of Bank M.) provided N. with information on 23 accounts from both Bank M. and Bank V. He directly used his own bank-issued account to access the internal system of Bank M. and retrieve information on three bank accounts, which he then sold to N.
Regarding the information of 20 bank accounts from Bank V., this male employee had previously worked at the same bank, establishing various professional relationships. Consequently, he sought the assistance of former colleagues to access account information and provide it to him, which he then sold to N. at a price ranging from 200,000 to 400,000 Vietnamese dong per account.
Similarly, Ms. P.T.H.T. (residing in Da Nang, employee of Bank S., Da Nang branch) utilized her assigned employee account to access the internal system. Through this, she searched for bank account information based on the account numbers provided by H.Đ.N. and subsequently forwarded the information of 25 accounts from this bank to N.
An officer from PA05 stated that in exchange for providing information on the bank accounts to H.Đ.N., this female employee received a fee of 500,000 Vietnamese dong per account. In total, she benefited from 12.5 million Vietnamese dong through the unauthorized sale of bank account information.
Another employee of Bank S., Mr. L.Đ.A. (residing in Da Nang), also utilized his assigned employee account to access the internal system in order to search for bank account information based on the account numbers provided by N.
According to PA05, this employee forwarded information of 25 accounts from Bank S. to N. and received a fee of 200,000 Vietnamese dong per account from H.Đ.N. This bank employee earned 5 million Vietnamese dong from the sale of accounts.
Furthermore, according to the police, some employees of other joint stock commercial banks who were acquainted with H.Đ.N. through social media platforms also conducted searches for personal bank account information to sell to N.
2. Misconduct resulting from mass of card opening
Previously, PA05 investigators discovered a group that posted on social media platforms articles related to the collection of personal information from customers at 22 banking systems nationwide in exchange for fees. Consequently, this agency established a case and identified H.Đ.N. and several other individuals involved.
N. admitted that since around October 2022, he had joined a Facebook group named "A.T.M Bank Accounts." Within this group, multiple Facebook accounts posted articles for the exchange and sale of other people's bank account information.
Seeing the opportunity to make money easily, N. used his Facebook, Zalo, and Telegram accounts, as well as his partner's, to post advertisements offering services to collect and provide information about other people's bank accounts for their own unlawful benefits.
When contacted by interested buyers of bank account information, N. reached out to his network contacts and bank employees across the country to gather and purchase the information, which he then resold at varying prices depending on the bank, ranging from 300,000 VND to 2.2 million VND per account information.
After receiving payment from the buyers of the information, N. paid the individuals who collected, provided, and sold the bank account information, with amounts ranging from 200,000 VND to 1.9 million VND per account information. In total, N. exchanged and traded information from over 200 bank accounts, earning over 400 million VND.
Additionally, N. also collected personal information from others and forwarded it to a group that had a cooperative relationship with bank employees, in order to register and open multiple bank accounts (bypassing proper procedures), which were then resold to interested parties, primarily in Cambodia, for profit.
According to PA05, this is the first case nationwide where authorities have uncovered and disrupted an illicit trade of personal information from a large number of bank accounts, with the complicity of bank employees. This is a menace that needs to be stopped.
"The process of investigation has also clarified the ongoing practices of joint stock commercial banks, which still involve meeting targets for opening bank accounts, leading to irregularities in the procedure of account registration," said an official from PA05.
3. Criminal prosecution shall be applied in case of buying and selling account information
According to lawyer Tran Hau (Da Nang Bar Association), the collection, possession, exchange, buying, selling, or unauthorized disclosure of information related to bank accounts is strictly prohibited under the provisions of the law.
If banks and bank employees disclose or sell this information, individuals who use the information to commit fraud, engage in illegal activities, invade privacy, disrupt social order, or severely impact monetary security and social safety...
According to Article 291 of the Penal Code, bank employees who engage in the collection, possession, exchange, buying, selling, or unauthorized disclosure of bank account information in a quantity that constitutes a criminal offense will be held criminally liable.
In cases where employees assist others in committing crimes, bank employees acting as accomplices will also be held criminally liable for their complicity. If the violation does not reach the threshold for criminal liability, administrative penalties will be imposed in accordance with regulations.
Article link: HERE
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