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Vietnam police arrest 12 in bust of $173mn football gambling ring

Vietnam police arrest 12 in bust of $173mn football gambling ring

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 17:52 GMT+7
Vietnam police arrest 12 in bust of $173mn football gambling ring
Police officers raid the house of Vo Van Hai (sitting, right), the kingpin of a $173 million online gambling ring, in Dak Lak Province, Vietnam, October 28, 2020. Photo: Truong Minh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese police have taken 12 people into custody after busting an online football gambling ring worth about US$173 million.

The suspects, aged from 37 to 50, were found running the racket allegedly led by mastermind Vo Van Hai, 49, who was identified as a native of the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, police said on Wednesday.

During a raid in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, police officers seized a handgun, 13 ATM cards, 28 cellphones, five laptops, over VND350 million ($15,000) in cash, and relevant documents.

The suspects used sophisticated tricks with accomplices in many countries manipulating various accounts to play the games and perform daily transactions, according to a preliminany investigation.

They used security technology and an automatic notification system to evade the surveillance of law enforcement agencies and social platforms such as Zalo, Viber, and Facebook to transfer money to personal bank accounts, said Lieutenant Colonel Hoang Trung Nam, a senior police officer.  

Their total transactions topped VND4 trillion ($173 million).

The case investigation is ongoing.

While Vietnam cracks down on gambling, illegal gambling and betting remain active in various forms in the country.

Gambling and organizing gambling are subject to fines of VND10-50 million ($430-2,150) and jail terms of three to seven years, according to the penal code.

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