Police raid central Vietnam forest, arrest 40 gamblers

By Viet Quoc   October 13, 2019 | 05:00 pm PT
Police raid central Vietnam forest, arrest 40 gamblers
Slippers and water bottles are left inside a forest in Binh Thuan Province where police officers raided a gambling den on October 13, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc.
Police in Binh Thuan Province busted a gambling den in a forest Sunday, arresting 40 people, including 10 women.

Nearly 80 people in 18 cars of four to seven seats had gathered in the forest in Bac Binh District to gamble.

Many gamblers fled into remote and dangerous areas of the forest as the police arrived. 40 people were captured and around VND500 million ($21,510) in cash seized.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Huynh Ngoc Liem, head of Bac Binh District Police Department, said most of the gamblers were from other localities, including Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands, the provinces of Dong Nai and Tien Giang as well as Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

Cars of gamblers at a police station in Bac Binh District. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc. 

Cars of gamblers are held a police station in Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc. 

Officers have been following this gambling den for months before the crackdown. These people often gamble all night long. Due to deep forest and dangerous roads, it has been difficult for police forces to take action, Liem said.

The police are expanding their investigation and hunting for the remaining gamblers.

While gambling has for long been dealt with as a social evil in Vietnam, a relaxed stance saw the government legalize sports betting in 2017. It has also said it would allow Vietnamese aged over 21 and with a monthly income of at least VND10 million ($445) to gamble at designated casinos. All other forms of gambling are still deemed illegal.

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