|Phan Văn Vĩnh. — VNA/VNS Photo|
PHÚ THỌ — The People’s Court of the northern province of Phú Thọ announced on Monday that it would hold a trial on November 12 for 92 people accused of involvement in a major online gambling ring.
The defendants face charges including the organisation of gambling, gambling, abusing position and power while performing duties, illegally trading invoices, laundering money and using the internet for asset appropriation.
Another 73 people involved in the case will also be present at court.
There will be 30 defence counsels for the defendants and three others for the 73 mentioned above.
Phan Văn Vĩnh and Nguyễn Thanh Hóa, former officials from the Ministry of Public Security, who were accused of abusing their positions and power in the case, have each invited three defence counsels. Meanwhile, Phan Sào Nam and Nguyễn Văn Dương, accused of being the masterminds behind the online gambling ring, will have five and three defence counsels, respectively.
Earlier, Phú Thọ police launched criminal proceedings against 105 people for the seven charges. However, the investigations into 13 of them were suspended.
The ring included 25 tier-1 outlets, 5,877 tier-2 outlets and 42,956,718 gambling accounts. It was found to have gained more than VNĐ9.85 trillion (US$428.2 million) in revenue from online gambling.
The investigation agency has seized more than VNĐ1.34 trillion ($58.3 million) from the ring organisers and accomplices.
Phú Thọ police said they also have sufficient ground to ask for the prosecution of Phan Văn Vĩnh, former Lieutenant General and former Director General of the Police General Department under the Ministry of Public Security; and Nguyễn Thanh Hóa, former Major General and former Director of the ministry’s High-tech Crime Police Department, for abusing their positions and power in association with the case. — VNS