At least 70 people were arrested Sunday after police raided an illegal casino and cockfighting pitch in Ho Chi Minh City run by a notorious retired thief.
The linchpin, Nguyen Hoang Kiet, 43, was himself arrested at the gambling den on Binh Thanh District’s Phan Van Tri Street where he was monitoring the activities on a CCTV screen.
More than 100 officers and dogs took part in the raid.
They arrested many gamblers whom they caught red-handed betting on games and cock fights. They seized more than VND125 million and US$4,000 in cash, 60 cell phones, and 77 motorbikes.
According to preliminary information, Kiet had been running the place, a large open ground enclosed by walls with a single entrance, for more than a year.
To avoid police detection, he kept the gate permanently locked and had four security cameras.
He provided roulette tables and a tent for cockfighting as well as food and loan services.
There were several henchmen to collect money and watch out for the police.
The police said many of the gamblers arrested are criminals with multiple convictions.
Kiet, who has AIDS, has served three jail sentences for robbery and drug smuggling.
His den is located in So Thung (garbage collectors’ neighborhood), for long notorious as a criminal hub.
Investigators said Kiet, a nephew of the neighborhood’s infamous loan shark Huynh Thi Kim Le, had many henchmen and had been involved in many gang fights.
The media has in the past reported about him as a rehabilitated man who raises pig at the site.
He claimed to be doing charity, but that was just a cover for the illegal casino, an investigator said