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Gov't officials get total of 11 years' jail for gambling

Update: July, 17/2012 - 10:16

HA NOI — Two senior officials and four accomplices in southern Soc Trang Province would be imprisoned for gambling, the board of the province's court said yesterday.

Nguyen Thanh Leo, former deputy director of the province's Transport Department, was sentenced to five years jail; Dinh Van Muoi, former deputy chairman of Soc Trang City's Party Committee's Commission for Inspection, was sentenced to four years in jail and Ngo Hue Phan got two years.

Meanwhile, Tran Van Tan, former director of a driver training centre, was sentenced to 17 years in jail for gambling and asset extortion.

Nguyen Thanh Hung and Nguyen Thanh Truyen were imprisoned for 12 years for asset extortion.

The court's board also said VND3 billion (US$142,000) collected as evidence would be confiscated and six land lots equivalent to VND14 billion ($667,000) would be given back to their real owners.

Leo and Tan were caught red-handed last December while playing Chinese chess for high stakes: VND1-5 billion ($47,600-$238,000) a game.

By the time the police showed up, Leo had lost VND36 billion ($1.7 million) to Tan but had only paid Tan VND16 billion ($762,000).

The police also arrested Hung and his son Truyen, who had been hired by Tan to force Leo to pay his debt and threaten to kill all of his family.

Earlier, Leo enticed Muoi to play chess for money.

Most of the gambling was run by Phan who was paid VND400 million ($19,000) from Tan for his work. — VNS

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