Vietnam: 62 sentenced for operating US$42.6m gambling ring

The investigation began in 2021.
The investigation began in 2021.

Giang Province court has sentenced the defendants to a combined 208 years in prison.

Vietnam.- The People’s Court of Giang Province has sentenced 62 people for their involvement in an illegal gambling business worth over VNĐ1tn (US$42.6m). The court’s verdict has resulted in a collective prison term of 208 years and six months and a mandate to repay VNĐ4.84bn (US$206,850) in illicit profits.

According to Vietnam News, the operation was led by Nguyễn Thị Thủy Liên, a 57-year-old resident of Mỹ Xuyên Ward in Long Xuyên City. He received 10 years in prison. Huỳnh Sĩ Nguyên, aged 46, also from Long Xuyên City, received the same sentence.

Dương Văn Hoàng, 64, was given a term of eight years and six months. Lương Kim Khá, aged 43, received a sentence of six years and three months. All four were found guilty of organising gambling and gambling offences.

The court imposed additional fines on Liên, Nguyên, and Hoàng, amounting to VNĐ70m (US$2,985), while Khá was given an additional fine of VNĐ50m (US$2,132). Thirteen other defendants faced charges of organising gambling, while the remaining 45 defendants were accused of gambling.

Sentences ranged from six months of probation to five years in prison. Each defendant was ordered to pay fines ranging from VNĐ10 to 20m (US$426-852), totalling over VNĐ1bn (US$42,652).

The investigation began in May 2021 when local residents alerted the provincial Police Department about the illegal activities. Following an inspection, search warrants were issued on June 5, 2021. Police seized mobile phones, computers, printers, cash and vehicles.

Gambling in Vietnam is illegal outside a handful of venues and is punishable with fines of between VND100m and VND50m (US$430 to US$2,150). Vietnamese citizens are only allowed to enter two casinos: one on the southern island of Phu Quoc and the other in Van Don in the northern province of Quang Ninh. Online gambling and its advertising is prohibited.

See also: Study finds illegal gambling ads common on Facebook in Vietnam

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