Vietnam bank executive probed in multimillion-dollar gambling ring

TN News

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Vietnamese police announced on February 6 that a bank's senior member is among those being investigated in connection to the massive overseas-based online gambling ring busted last month.

Nguyen Le Sang, 36, a former deputy director of communication and marketing at an undisclosed bank, was allegedly involved in organizing the gambling ring.

Ten other people from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the central resort town of Nha Trang had also been placed under investigation for either gambling or gambling organization charges, Tien Phong reported.

Police seized a seven-seat van along with VND565 million (US$27,150) in cash, eight laptops, four modems, 21 cell phones and 32 ATM cards.

A source from the Ministry of Public Security said they discovered the ring in 2011, and that it has been operating online at the Philippine website www.m88.com since 2010, offering services such as card games, and betting on soccer and horse racing held in countries including England, Italy and France. The ring handled bets worth a total of tens of millions of dollars.

The website was translated into Vietnamese to serve local customers, who needed to set up accounts to use the illegal services. They only gave cash to the ring's associates in Vietnam who would transfer it to managers abroad via illegal channels, and vice versa.

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Major organizers of the ring were the director and vice director of local telecommunications agency News Plus, who were paid $1,000-2,000 a month for each account they managed and allegedly earned up to tens of thousands of dollars through their involvement, police said.

The organizers had to create various bank accounts to complete the money transfers and they had used at least 25 ID cards, including those of News Plus employees, police said.

The director Nguyen Vo Hoai Tram still remains at large.

Police are investigating further.

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