6 face charges for massive chess gambling in southern Vietnam

TN News

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Police in the Mekong Delta Province of Soc Trang have proposed charges against six people, including three former officials, for a massive gambling case that was busted last year, local authorities said Wednesday.

Nguyen Thanh Leo, former deputy chief of the provincial Department of Transport, Tran Van Tan, former director of the province's Center for Driving Tests and Licensing, and Dinh Van Muoi, former deputy chief of Soc Trang Town Communist Party Unit's Inspection Committee, are all facing gambling charges, police said.

They were found gambling billions of dong on Chinese chess games, in which Leo owed VND17 billion (US$809,000) to Tan, and VND2.5 billion ($119,000) to Muoi at the time the three were busted.

Police have also asked prosecutors to charge Tan -- together with Nguyen Thanh Hung and his son, Nguyen Thanh Truyen -- with "depriving other people of their property."

Meanwhile, Ngo Hue Phan has been charged with "running a gambling den."

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On December 12 last year, Leo sought police protection from Hung and Truyen, who were hired by Tan to send him death threats in connection with his gambling debts to Tan.

Following Leo's tip-off, police organized a sting operation and caught Leo and Tan red-handed at a café.

Further investigations later found that Leo also gambled on chess games with Muoi at Phan's house and at another café.

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