Police in the central city of Da Nang have busted a gambling ring operated by a group of foreigners who leased a villa for their illegal practice.
On early Wednesday, the municipal police raided a high-end resort in Ngu Hanh Son District in Da Nang.
Investigators found that four casino tables were crowded with around a dozen gamblers, along with ring organizers and staff, who were caught gambling over baccarat, a type of card game.
Gamblers would collect casino tokens that can be exchanged for cash later.
At least ten people, including six foreigners, were running the ring, and five other foreigners were playing baccarat at the time of the raid.
Officers seized cash worth nearly VND500 million (US$21,300) and other exhibits.
Seven people, including four foreigners, were detained for further investigation.
Casinos have been shuttered in Da Nang and across Vietnam since April 1 as part of social distancing measures to stem the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The detainees told the police they had leased the luxury villa to organize gambling due to the casino suspension, according to Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police), the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security.
Gambling is generally illegal in Vietnam, but foreigners and locals are allowed to gamble at designated casinos.
Illegal gambling involving stakes, in cash or kind, from VND5 million ($215) is punishable by between six months and seven years behind bars.
Organizers of illegal gambling face up to ten years in prison.