Vietnam police probe leaders of busted gambling ring for bribery

By Ba Do   July 14, 2018 | 08:14 pm PT
Vietnam police probe leaders of busted gambling ring for bribery
Nguyen Van Duong (L) and Phan Sao Nam, two top organizers of a massive gambling ring under probe in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Two business honchos arrested in the recently busted $420 million gambling ring will also be investigated for bribery, police say.

Police in the northern province of Phu Tho said they have expanded investigations against Nguyen Van Duong, former chairman of high-tech security development company CNC and his general director Luu Thi Hong, for bribery, but did not provide further details.

Earlier investigations had found that Duong was a technical partner of the cyber crime division at the Ministry of Public Security before he started a gambling operation in May 2015, allegedly receiving help from some top ministry officials.

Duong ran the ring with Phan Sao Nam, founder and former chairman of prominent online communication firm VTC.

They used two online game portals that resembled professional casinos in which players could gamble virtual money and convert their winnings to real money, police said.

Players could obtain virtual money by redeeming mobile phone top-up cards, CNC's prepaid cards or by paying the tech companies through bank transfers.

Investigators found that the portals attracted 14 million players who placed bets worth VND9.6 trillion ($419.7 million). The gambling racket earned Duong and Nam profits of VND3.2 trillion ($140 million), making it the biggest and most profitable gambling network ever busted in the country.

In busting the network, police have launched criminal probes against 88 people and arrested more than 40 of them, including Lieutenant General Phan Van Vinh, former head of the General Department of Police, and his subordinate Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former director of the Ministry of Public Security's cyber crime division.

Hoa has been accused of colluding with the ring’s organizers, while Vinh is accused of failing to report it.

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