VIETNAM CHARGE 59 IN GAMBLING RING BUST
03rd June, 2014 at 14:46:02
But ring leader still at large
59 people have been charged by The Supreme People's Procuracy (SPP), Vietnam 's top prosecution unit, following raids on a major gambling ring led by "hundreds of Vietnamese police officers" in January this year (see previous report).
The 59 charged for their alleged involvement in the multimillion-dollar gambling ring include a former bank employee and several wealthy business people reports the Thanh Nien Daily.
The SPP filed organised gambling charges against Nguyen Le Sang, the former deputy director of PR and marketing at Vietnam International Bank, Cu Thi Thanh Hai, former deputy director of telecommunications agent News Plus, Hai's brother and well known photographer Cu Huy Giap in Hanoi, Nguyen Van Nam, director of a construction and trading company, and two Ho Chi Minh City residents Pham Thi Kim Hoang and Le Van Hai.
According to the report, Tram recruited Cu Thi Thanh Hai and Nguyen Le Sang to open bank accounts to facilitate the transfer of money to local gamblers. Sang was allegedly paid the handsome sum of US$100 000 to open eight accounts which transferred over VND585 Billion (around US$27.5 million) in gambling proceeds. Hai earned US$35000 to open six accounts which transferred around VND64 Billion (around US$3 million).
Similarly Giap transferred around VND629 Billion (US$29.5 Million) to and from six accounts and Loan over VND503 Billion (US$23.6 million), however, their cut has yet to be established.
M88.com's "about us" page states the operation is powered by Playtech, however it displays a "powered by" Opus Gaming logo on its landing page. According to the website Opus Gaming headquarters are based in Makati City, as do M88.com's. The operation offers live sportsbetting, casino and lottery, keno and P2P Poker.
While Vietnam law forbids gambling, the country has several casinos that cater to foreign passport holders only.
Authorities are still hunting Nguyen Vo Hoai Tram, then-director of News Plus, who is believed to be the mastermind of the operation and who apparently signed an advertising agent contract with M88 in 2010.
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