Chinese nationals arrested in mahjong gambling bust in Vietnam

By Xuan Ngoc   October 29, 2018 | 05:09 am PT
Chinese nationals arrested in mahjong gambling bust in Vietnam
Police confisticate cash, mahjong tiles and mobile phones, among others in a raid in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province on Saturday. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuoc
Nine Chinese nationals were arrested Saturday night in the central province of Khanh Hoa for mahjong gambling.

About $4,900 in Vietnamese dong and Chinese yuan, 800 mahjong tiles, nine mobile phones and other pieces of evidence were seized from a house on Hung Vuong Street in the province's resort city Nha Trang.

Initial findings are that Chinese national Zeng Jun, 36, was the ringleader who organized mahjong sessions for fellow nationals currently living or traveling in Nha Trang, one of the country's most popular destinations for Chinese.

In the first nine months, Nha Trang received 2.15 million foreign visitors, including more than 1.2 million Chinese, which was up 157 percent from the same period last year.

The mahjong case is being investigated further.

Mahjong is a tile-based game that was developed in China during the Qing Dynasty (1936-1912) and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. It is commonly played by four players.

On October 17, 18 people including Chinese nationals in the southern province of Dong Nai were jailed for between 11 months and four and a half years by a local court for gambling.

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Vietnam, and organizing gambling or running gambling dens is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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