Resident Aliens

Nguyen Gia Thieu's neighbors rarely saw him, except when they glimpsed his silver Mercedes gliding through the gates of his three-story villa in Ho Chi Minh City. His lifestyle—the house, the servants, the beauty-queen wife—befitted one of Vietnam's top entrepreneurs, but it infuriated the community. One neighbor snarls, "They are too rich to even look at ordinary people." So there was no sympathy on Jan. 7 when police arrested Thieu, 38, then raided his house, hauling off reams of documents and more than $250,000 in cash. The charge: his Dong Nam Telecom Trade and Service Co., the sole domestic distributor for...

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