|Defendants in court. Some 66 indictees were accused of illegal gambling. — Photo laodong.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — The People's Court in HCM City this morning opened the first hearing on the case of illegal online gambling on the website 188bet.com.
Some 66 defendants were indicted for the crimes of gambling, organising gambling events and illegally transporting currency across the border.
The head of the online gambling ring is Vuong Chan Thanh, 39, director of Vien Tin International Telecommunications Ltd. Co. in HCM City's District No. 11.
The total amount of money passing through gambling rings has reached nearly VND400 billion (more than US$18 million).
This particular ring is one of the largest found in the city so far this year.
According to the indictment, the defendants, including Thanh, his wife Dam Kim Tuyen, Vuong Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thanh Trieu, were charged with organising gambling events.
Do Tu Vuong and Lai Sieu Na, gold dealers in HCM City, as well as Ta Thi Bien live in the northern province of Quang Ninh. They were indicted for illegally transporting currency across the border.
The remaining 59 defendants were charged with gambling.
In the two years between October 2011 and 2013, Thanh and his associates opened 55 bank accounts to allow gamblers in Viet Nam to transact and transfer money to the website 188bet.com.
The collected money was transferred to an intermediary account and then illegally transferred to China by some Chinese individuals.
In addition, the 66 defendants were also prosecuted for taking part in gambling.
The Vien Tin company was established in 2005 to trade in computers, telecommunications and cameras.
In 2011, Thanh was introduced to a Philippines-based company by his friend, and he opened bank accounts under the guidance of people abroad.
Gradually, Thanh was drawn into a major international online gambling operation dealing with large sums of money.
With the high profits they earned, Thanh asked his relations and employees to open a series of accounts in several banks to receive and transfer their illegal earnings from 188bet.com.
Mass gambling events were held in Ha Noi, HCM City and provinces across the country via this website, with thousands of people joining in.
Thanh and his gang were caught by the Public Security Ministry's police in 2013.
The trial is expected to end on Friday. — VNS