Vietnam police seize $192,000 from card game table

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Police in the northern province of Lao Cai Friday pressed gambling charges against nine people after arresting them in late August with nearly VND4 billion (US$192,000) during a card game.

A Sunday report by news website VnExpress cited the police as saying the syndicate was the biggest in the province, and included government officials and businesspeople. They had been following the syndicate for a couple months after tip-offs from local residents, police said.

Gambling is illegal in Vietnam.

Colonel Doan Thanh Son, deputy head of the police of Lao Cai Town, the capital city of the province, said the gang played several days a month at a house in town, guarded and installed with cameras.

The players typically leave most of their money in cars parked far away from the house. The door only opened when losers need to take more money, and it was at one such juncture that the police raided the house, Son said.

He said the police seized VND883 million ($42,370) from the table, but a lot more money was found in the players' bags and cars.

The main organizer has been identified as Pham Thi Ngoc Hoa, from Hanoi.

The operation is being investigated further.

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