HCMC police bust largest gambling ring ever

By Tuong Van, Quoc Thang   December 3, 2021 | 02:54 am PT
HCMC police bust largest gambling ring ever
Police check evidence seized from a gambling ring in HCMC, December 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tuong Van
An online gambling ring worth at least $3.8 billion got busted in Ho Chi Minh City, with four arrests made.

Huynh Long Bac, 30, Nguyen Dac Quy, 27, Huynh Long Nhu, 28, and Pham Thi Mai Ngan, 36, were detained on Thursday for "organizing gambling". All of them live in the city.

Their arrest came after police inspected various city locations last month and caught 59 people gambling while simultaneously running the ring.

Police also seized a series of electronics devices, land ownership certificates, land contracts, six Mercedes and Peugeot cars, aside from VND3 billion ($131,430), $19,000 and AUD40,000 ($28,320) in cash.

According to investigators, Bach and his three accomplices operated gambling activities via the two websites of Swiftonline.live and Nagaclubs.com, both linked to international gambling site Evolution.com.

The ring enticed players with the tricks of "investment insurance," which means players would get refunded if they lose a game, and "rewarding commission" to whoever attracts as many participants as possible.

Police said the ring had many dealers in various provinces and cities across the country.

Players need to register a virtual currency wallet on the Remitano exchange floor, registered overseas, then use the money in their own bank accounts to buy other virtual currencies to gamble.

"When the number of players is sufficient, they will shut down the website to appropriate all the money and remove all traces, making it difficult for authorities to track them down," police said.

It is estimated a total of $3.8 billion had been transacted via the ring.

"The sum is only the amount of money from gamblers and has yet to include the counterpart fund from the bookie, making it the largest gambling ring that has ever been taken down in the city," said police.

Online gambling is illegal in Vietnam.

There are a handful of licensed casinos in the country, but only foreign passport holders are allowed to gamble there. For now, only two casinos, one on the southern island of Phu Quoc and the other in Van Don in the northern province of Quang Ninh, may admit Vietnamese.

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