Vietnam has dedicated the past months to an extensive gambling crackdown which has resulted in the arrests of individuals conducting it, some of them taking leading positions in the Ministry of Public Security. This Monday saw the start of a trial in Phu Tho provincial People’s Court involving two former senior officers involved in a massive online gambling ring seeking to impose penalties on the criminals.
This Monday saw the beginning of the trial against Phan Van Vinh, former Director General of the MoPS’s Police General Department and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former Director of the MoPS’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department. In addition to the two of them, there are also 90 more individuals involved in the criminal organization and its operation that also face charges for their supposed direct participation in the online gaming scheme utilizing the card game Rikvip.
Illegal Gambling Remains an Issue
This trial is projected to attract the attention of individuals from near and far as well as to have a major public impact, as it includes a record number of defendants. The two former top officers face charges of abusing positions and power while performing duties which could result in the maximum penalty issued of 15 years behind bars.
All of the people involved in the case have been accused of organizing gambling, laundering money, organizing gambling among other charges which are all serious crimes which have resulted in the smooth operation of the multimillion-dollar online gambling ring. As many as 15 days will be needed for the first-instance trial to be finalized and the entire process will be public, providing media outlets with access to information.
Furthermore, present at court were also some 73 people involved in the gambling organization, as well as 14 witnesses. As many as 30 defense counsels were present on site providing their services to the 92 individuals accused of criminal activities. The remaining 87 people were provided with advice and guidance by three other counsels. This significantly increases the number of people in the Phu Tho Court.
Top Cops Involved In the Case
It could be recalled that the illegal operation has been conducted over the span of some 28 months by Phan Sao Nam, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co. and Nguyen Van Duong, former Chairman of the Members Council of the Hi-tech Security Development and Investment Co. Upon further investigation into the operation of the gambling ring, they were pinpointed as the kingpins responsible for its operation.
In the meantime, Mr. Vinh and Mr. Hoa from the Ministry of Public Security provided their leading positions as a protection of the gambling ring which commenced operation in May 2015. As many as 42.95 million individual accounts have been registered in the gambling ring’s data base, amounting to a considerable chunk of the population participating in the illegal activities.
Through its operation, as much as VND10 trillion (approximately US$428.3 million) has been generated due to the large interest in the gaming offering. The top It could be recalled that at the very beginning of the investigation as many as 105 people saw charges against them for their involvement in the gambling ring. The following days will see more action taking place in court.