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Vietnam jails Singaporean man for running gambling ring

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 10:47 GMT+7
Vietnam jails Singaporean man for running gambling ring
The trial of 64 people charged with gambling or organizing gambling rings in Ho Chi Minh City, March 13, 2017

A Singaporean national has been sent to prison in Ho Chi Minh City for his key role in an online gambling ring involving Vietnamese citizens.

Wong Boon Leong, 38, was sentenced to 14 months and 24 days in prison by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City at a trial on Monday.

Wong, along with three Vietnamese accessories, were all found guilty of running an illegal gambling website, www.dafabet.com, the host server of which is based in the Philippines, allowing users to place bets on horse races and soccer matches as well as gamble on card games.

In order to attract Vietnamese gamblers, the foreign owners of the website hired Vietnamese ‘representatives’ to introduce and promote the gambling ring to locals.

Vietnamese nationals were employed to open bank accounts in Vietnam through which money from betters was transferred abroad and winners’ money was paid out.

Between March and December 2015, a number of Vietnamese were hired by Wong to open 43 local bank accounts to represent the gambling website.

Wong’s Vietnamese accomplices Nguyen Thi Kim Cuc, Nguyen Van Nam and Pham Ngoc Thanh were involved in the management of bank transactions, promotional events and posting posters advertising the website in Vietnam.

The Singaporean pocketed VND468 million (US$20,900) during the period, while Cuc and Nam earned VND79 million ($3,500) and VND52 million ($2,300) in commission respectively.

Meanwhile, Thanh was found to have earned VND136 million ($6,100) in commission since April 2014, via the use of his online accounts to run ads for the gambling website.

Sixty other Vietnamese were also charged with gambling, as they had been found to own accounts at Dafabet and had opened bank accounts to make transactions with the organization.

The prosecuted gamblers had all placed a bet worth VND5 million ($225) or more on the site at least once.

Gambling is illegal in Vietnam, and those found doing so using cash or other properties worth VND5 million or more face between six months and seven years of jail time.

Those who organize gambling rings can be jailed for between one and ten years, according to the country’s Penal Code.

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