21 arrested as Vietnam police bust major lottery gambling ring

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City Friday arrested 21 people suspected to be part of a major lottery gambling operation following a raid on 14 "dens".

Two city residents Tran Thi Minh Suong, 53, and Mai Tien Dung, 46, were identified as leaders of the ring which played "so de," an illegal numbers game based on the state lottery, allowing players to bet any amount they want for payoffs up to 80 times the original wager.

The police seized more than VND678 million (US$32,500), $9,100, calculators, telephones and notes used for the operation at the gambling dens in Districts 3, 4, 7, 11, Binh Thanh and Binh Chanh.

Suong and Dung said they had been running the operation since 2009, after they were arrested by the city police earlier as part of a smaller gang.

Further investigations have been launched into the ring.

So de is more popular in southern Vietnam, especially among the Mekong Delta.

Last September and October, several rings that handled bets of up to $5,000 were busted in Bac Lieu Province.

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