South Koreans running poker gambling ring arrested in HCMC

By Quoc Thang   July 4, 2019 | 04:28 am PT
South Koreans running poker gambling ring arrested in HCMC
Four South Korean men are held at a police station in Ho Chi Minh City for running a gambling ring via poker games. Photo courtesy of HCMC police.
Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested four South Korean men running a gambling ring through poker games.

17 others, including foreigners of various nationalities, are in custody pending investigation for illegal gambling, police told the press on Thursday.

They raided a house on Quoc Huong Street in District 2, known for a large expat community, last Friday and found 37 people playing poker, VND439 million ($18,800) worth of cash and tokens worth VND130 million, along with 14 bank cards.

Among the players, eight tested positive for narcotic substances.

Police said the "casino" was owned and operated by a South Korean man named Lee Seong Jin.

Lee hired two other South Koreans, Hyung Yong Woo and Kim Jeajin, to manage the place on his behalf and ten others, including some foreigners.

Every day, a large number of players including foreigners visited the place. Each player is provided with an electronic chip that allows them to store and recharge their gambling funds. The chip will automatically extract 5 percent of the players’ gambling fund.

In 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2014 licensed the establishment of Bridge Poker Vietnam and declared it a legitimate sport. But gambling on it is illegal.

In Vietnam, gambling and organizing gambling can attract fines of VND10-50 million ($430- 2,150) or face jail terms of three to seven years.

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