Man arrested for allegedly spreading banknote change rumour

Friday, 2016-12-16 11:37:30
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The false rumour caused a brief episode of chaos on the gold and foreign currency markets.
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NDO - A 34-year-old man named Nguyen Xuan Long in the southern province of Dong Nai has been arrested for allegedly spreading false information that the Vietnamese government was planning to change banknotes.

Long has been identified by the Ministry of Public Security as one of the three administrators of a Facebook page called Vit Bau where the rumour originally appeared.

The rumour began circulating on the social media site since late October with manipulated images showing new banknotes which were said to have been printed in China and transported to Vietnam.

The Vit Bau page frequently published posts about the falsified banknote change and called on the people to withdraw their bank deposits to buy gold and foreign currencies.
Such posts were usually accompanied by comments that slandered the government and incited acts of sabotage.

After being arrested, Long confessed that the Vit Bau page was created in 2015 and administered by a woman named Nguyen Hang, who is currently living in the United States.

In September 2016, Hang invited Long to join the page’s administration where he used the account Phong Tuan and the moniker Mr Duck to publish about ten posts a day on Vit Bau.

The posts were written by Long or reposted from other reactionary websites and the mainstream media but which also featured defamatory comments.

An investigation by the Ministry of Public Security concluded that the content posted on Vit Bau was intended to cause economic and political chaos with the overall aim of changing the political system in Vietnam.

Following public panic over the fake news, the State Bank of Vietnam affirmed that the plan to change banknotes was a malicious rumour and advised the people to be wary of such unfounded information in order to avoid economic losses.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also directed the Ministry of Public Security and other competent agencies to find those who spread the rumour aiming to negatively affect Vietnam’s business climate and macroeconomic situation.