Gambling ring run by underworld big shots busted in Vietnam

Police smashed an illegal online sports betting ring in southern Vietnam and arrested the ringleader and his accomplices after a series of coordinated raids.

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Nguyen Van Binh (R), 36, and his accomplice are held at HCMC's police station pending further investigation. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang
Ten people including the ring leader were nabbed and three high-end cars seized along with billions of dong and foreign currency as police raided locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong.

The leader of the ring was 36-year-old Nguyen Van Binh, police said.

Hundreds of officers belonging to the municipal police force and the Ministry of Public Security raided a coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City's District 12 on July 11 and arrested Binh, who they said had been running an online betting ring through a website since 2014.

They confiscated several online devices containing evidence of illegal betting apart from cash and other assets.

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Hundreds of police officers raid a coffee shop in HCMC's District 12 on Wednesday night in a major crackdown on illegal online betting rackets, especially involving sports games. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang

Binh and his accomplices had rich family backgrounds and were big names in the Saigon underworld, police said. The transactions the ring was involved in over the past five years ran into hundreds of billions of dong, police said.

The illegal gambling ring was being investigated further, they added.

Organizing sports betting remains illegal in Vietnam but various operations have been busted during the World Cup season.

Just a week ago, an illegal online betting ring worth over VND2 trillion (US$89 million) was busted and at least 10 people arrested in several cities and provinces.

Last month, another online gambling ring using the web portal 12bet was busted. Four suspects were arrested and a total of over VND300 million in cash, computers and phones were seized.

Vnexpress

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