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Vietnam breaks up $47mn online gambling ring led by gay magazine owner

Saturday, January 24, 2015, 11:07 GMT+7
Vietnam breaks up $47mn online gambling ring led by gay magazine owner
To Cong Hung, 33, the leader of an illegal online gambling ring in Ho Chi Minh City, which police said transferred tens of millions of U.S. dollars of gambling money to gamblers abroad each month

Vietnamese police recently arrested the leader of an online gambling ring and nine other people involved in the illegal organization whose web server is located overseas and total wagers amounted to almost US$47 million.

In their swoop on the ring on January 23, police officers initially detained ten people of the group, which was led by To Cong Hung, 33, the director of a company and owner of a magazine dedicated to the gay community in Ho Chi Minh City.

Preliminary investigation showed that the ring has been organized and managed by Hung for months.

Hung let his sister and many other people create bank accounts to receive money from gamblers across the country.

The money was later converted into virtual currency and points on a website called 12bet.com for online gambling under various forms, mostly sports gambling.

The server of the site is in the Philippines while most of its moderators also live overseas. The ring transferred tens of millions of U.S. dollars of gambling money to gamblers abroad each month, police said.

Besides Hung and the nine participants, Vietnamese police also summoned over 10 other people involved in the ring.

According to initial testimonies, the total amount bet through the group was more than VND1 trillion ($46.8 million).

Police are looking further into the ring.

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