Accordingly, they were charged with “using the internet to appropriate assets”, “organising gambling”, “gambling”, “illegally trading invoices”, “laundering money”, and “abusing position and power while performing duties”.
According to the indictment, Hoang Thanh Trung, 40, a resident in Hanoi’s Hoang Mai district, met then Chairman of the VTC Online company’s Board of Directors Phan Sao Nam in order to discuss developing an online gambling system.
In early 2015, Nam met with Nguyen Van Duong, then Chairman of the Members Council of the High-tech Security Development and Investment company (CNC) to propose developing online gambling software and gave Duong a summary of an online game project for consideration.
Duong later agreed with the project and they reached a consensus that if monthly revenue tops VND5 billion (US$217,000), CNC will enjoy 30% of profit and VTC Online 70%. If the revenue is between VND5-15 billion, CNC will receive 35% and VTC Online 65%.
There were a total of 54 games using virtual money called “Rik” on the portal, Rikvip.
In order to legalise the thousands of trillions of VND acquired via the gambling organisation, Nam and Duong used a variety of methods to launder money.
Specifically, Duong laundered more than VND329 billion by sending it to the Urban Infrastructure Development Investment Corporation (UDIC) for transfer to the Bac Giang-Lang Son BOT company. Duong was also Chairman of the UDIC Board of Directors at the time.
Both Nam and Duong face charges of “organising gambling” and “laundering money”.
Former General Director of the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS)’s General Police Department Phan Van Vinh and former Director of the MoPS’s High-tech Crime Police Department Nguyen Thanh Hoa were prosecuted for “abusing position and power while performing duties”, an offence that has the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
During the 28 months of operating technologies and software with card games such as Rikvip/Tip.club, 23Zdo, and Zon/Pen, the games’ operators connected with multiple services and provided companies with a system of 25 tier-1 outlets and 5,877 tier-2 outlets to convert game scores into real-world currency and vice versa.
They attracted more than 42.95 million online accounts and earned nearly VND10 trillion (US$428.3 million) from users sent to the illegal gambling organisation.