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Trial opens for major online gambling ring

Update: November, 12/2018 - 11:00
The defendants at court. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Kiên
Viet Nam News

PHÚ THỌ — The People’s Court of northern Phú Thọ Province on Monday brought to trial two former senior officers of the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) and 90 accomplices for their alleged involvement in a major online gambling ring.

The 92 defendants face charges of “using the internet to appropriate assets”, “organising gambling”, “gambling”, “illegally trading invoices”, “laundering money”, and “abusing positions and power while performing duties”.

They include former Director General of the MoPS’s Police General Department Phan Văn Vĩnh and former Director of the MoPS’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department Nguyễn Thanh Hóa.

Both are prosecuted for “abusing positions and power while performing duties”, an offence that has a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The court said this is a case with a lot of complexities and a record number of defendants in Phú Thọ.

The first-instance trial is scheduled to last for 15 days and open for the media. At this trial, 73 other people with relevant interests and obligations and 14 witnesses will also be summoned.

The 92 defendants are accused of being involved in a ring that organised online gambling through the card game Rikvip/, led by Phan Sào Nam (former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co. – VTC Online) and Nguyễn Văn Dương (former Chairman of the Members Council of the Hi-tech Security Development and Investment Co. – CNC).

According to the indictment of the Phú Thọ provincial People’s Procuracy, Dương and accomplices used technology to commit the crimes in Phú Thọ and some other provinces and cities, with the support of Vĩnh and Hóa, who held positions and power in their agencies and were tasked with hi-tech crime prevention.

During the 28 months of operating software and technological solutions with card games such as Rikvip/, 23Zdo and Zon/Pen, the games’ operators connected with many companies to set up a system of 25 tier-1 outlets and 5,877 tier-2 outlets to convert game scores into real money and vice versa.

They attracted more than 42.95 million gambling accounts and earned nearly VNĐ10 trillion (US$428 million) from the gambling service. — VNS

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