Vietnam police bust gambling ring posing as business, arrest 7

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The Ministry of Public Security's police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested seven members of a crime syndicate posing as a legitimate business in order to organize illegal gambling and soccer betting online.

Initial information was that the group opened Hong Ngoc Saigon Co. Ltd., allegedly specializing in producing wooden cases for mobile phones in Tan Binh District, as a front to hide the gambling operation, a source told Thanh Nien.

Police busted the ring on January 7, apprehending its leader Tran Van Dinh, 29, along with his associates.

They also confiscated more than VND80 million (US$3,824) in cash, 15 mobile phones, two cars and four motorbikes among other assets during raids of the homes of the arrestees.

Every day, Dinh's group administered gambling games designed by Bui Duc Binh, 29, and received bets on the Internet placed by gamblers from different provinces, according to the source.

They also conducted gambling activities at the company's headquarters, which was actually a café, it added.

One of the members, Luu Minh Long, 30, was in charge of keeping track of the ledger of gamblers' wins and losses. He also allegedly sent thugs to shakedown gamblers who failed to pay their debts.

In cases gamblers with outstanding debts fled, people related to them, or those who introduced them to the ring, would be targeted, and the money demanded of them.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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