Saigon online betting ringleader gets nine years in prison

By Ky Hoa   September 12, 2018 | 03:32 am PT
Saigon online betting ringleader gets nine years in prison
The suspects involved in the $26-million online sports betting ring stand at a trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Ngoc
Four members of a Saigon-based $26 million illegal online sports betting ring will spend 7-9 years in jail.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City has sentenced 55-year-old La Tung Thinh, identified as the ringleader, to nine years in prison.

Three of his accomplices, aged between 28 and 55, will be jailed from five to seven years for the same offense, the court ruled Tuesday.

Another 22 people involved in the ring were given various sentences of up to three years in prison.

According to the indictment, between 2014 and 2016, Thinh and his henchmen cooperated with some foreigners to run the online betting ring funneled through three websites -, and - with servers based in the Philippines.

The websites allowed gamblers to move money through bank transfers or ATMs. The defendants opened 60 bank accounts to receive money from the gamblers.

The online betting network attracted thousands of players in Vietnam, with the total money in transactions between the organizers and players worth VND622 billion ($26 million).

Investigations found that the highest amount recorded for one wager was VND1.6 billion ($68,722). The illegal bets were placed on international matches, including soccer league games in England and Spain.

Police under the Ministry of Public Security last July busted an online gambling ring worth over VND2 trillion ($89 million) and detained 10 suspects in several cities and provinces nationwide.

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