Vietnamese district head wants to resign as shown in card game

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A scene from an online video showing Le Vu Thang, chairman of a district inspection unit in Lam Dong Province, playing cards

A district inspection head in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has asked to resign and be censured after a video was posted online showing him gambling.

Le Vu Thang, chairman of the inspection committee of Lam Ha District Party unit, was playing cards on December 21 with a subordinate and two local residents at the house of Vu Thanh Hoa, vice chairwoman of the district's town Red Cross, the Party unit said, confirming the video, news website VnExpress reported Friday.

Tran Thanh Phuong, secretary of the district Party unit, said the unit will meet in several days to decide a punishment, "which will be legal and not a concession."

Locals said Thang was playing for money, though the official claimed he was only playing for "fun." The video failed to reveal if there was cash on the table.

Gambling is illegal in Vietnam in general and there are stiff penalties for Party members caught engaged in such activity.

Around the same time last year, the Lam Ha District's presiding judge Pham Van Bac was caught gambling with cards in an office of the People's Court after a Lunar New Year's celebration.

He was sacked from the post and chose to retire early, citing health reasons, rather than accept the demotion.

Playing cards and forms of gambling are a popular pastime of the Vietnamese people, especially during Tet, the country's biggest holiday which peaks this year on February 10.

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