Police colonel's cap found in Vietnam gambling den

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Officers in plain clothes bust into a gambling den in Ho Chi Minh City May 10

The Ho Chi Minh City police have said they found a police officer's cap during a raid on a gambling den last week.

None of the 25 people arrested claimed the cap -- belonging to a person of the rank of colonel -- and the den organizer, Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, 45, said it could belong to a gambler who had left it behind while leaving.

The police seized VND8.7 million (US$416) in cash from the den where people were playing xoc dia, an even-odd dice game.

Gambling in all forms is banned in Vietnam.

An escape hole was found on the roof while a safe in the room was open and empty, causing suspicion that someone had managed to flee with money.

The police said they had been keeping tabs on the place in an alley in Tan Phu District for more than a week following a tip-off from local residents before busting in on May 10.


The hat of a police colonel found at a gambling den that was raided by police in Ho Chi Minh City May 10

It reportedly drew scores of gamblers every day, many of them ex-convicts from the north, providing food and accommodation and also loans. Gamblers have to pay Huong VND50,000 for each round they play.

The house was locked and guarded carefully, and the police secretly climbed on to the first floor and broke in through windows.

They also seized a fake gun and a machete.

Investigations are under way to find out if police officers were involved in protecting the den since it had been open since early April.

There is a militia station just several doors away.

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