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$339m football betting rings busted in Vietnam

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 18:04 GMT+7

Vietnamese police have broken up two inter-provincial football betting rings with a total value amounting to VND7.6 trillion (US$339 million), a senior police officer confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday.

The Department of Hi-Tech Criminal Prevention Police under the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday that it had worked with specialized units and local police forces of Hai Phong City and Hai Duong Province in northern Vietnam to successfully crack down on two inter-provincial football betting rings.

The total value of transactions handled by the rings prior to their apprehension was estimated at around VND7.6 trillion ($339 million).

According to police reports, the rings' leader Bui Khac Hien, 52, has been arrested and searched alongside 23 other ring members, whose operations stretched to multiple provinces and cities across the northern part of the country including Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, and Thanh Hoa.

The rings are said to have been organizing online gambling and betting services since June 2015.

Police have also confiscated an automobile, VND200 million ($8,900) in cash, as well as electronic equipment used by the suspects.

In Vietnam, the act or organization of gambling and betting of any kind is considered illegal except in permitted casinos reserved exclusively for foreigners, with violators punishable by law with up to ten years in prison.

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