Police officers from Saigon raided an alleged gambling den in a forest in Gia Lai Province yesterday. The raid, in which over 100 police officers took part, ended up with the detention of 130 gamblers.
In order for the raid to start, officers from Vietnam’s Criminal Police Department traveled about 300 miles and reached the district of Dak Doa, situated in the Central Highlands’ Gia Lai Province. As a result of their actions, a large number of gamblers have been caught red-handed while playing a Vietnamese game called soc dia, which involves gambling with tokens in the shape of coins.
The arrests of the 130 gamblers, a large number of whom were female, happened after warning shots were fired by the police officers. During the raid, a total amount of about VND300 million (approximately $12,900) was seized. At the time when the action took place, a total of 70 cars were present at the place where the den was situated.
The police officers search the place while looking for Nguyen Manh Hung, also known as Hung Sida, the 35-year-old organizer of the illegal gambling den, and for the rest of the members of his gang. The organizers of the unlawful gambling activities in the Province of Gia Lai were eventually seized at a mountain pass following a chase, which lasted for several hours.
The Gambling Operation Offered Big Stake Gambling Options
The organizer of the illegal gambling den, Nguyen Manh Hung, is a well-known gangster who operates in the region. This time, the gambling operations were carried out in an area which has been chosen for its location as it is difficult to reach. A large number of players who originate from the provinces of Phu Yen and Nghe An, Da Nang and even from the northern city of Hai Phong have been attracted to the gambling den.
The illegal gambling operation was working 24 hours a day, offering gamblers big stake options, which sometimes allegedly reached VND1 billion (more than $43,000).
As reported by a local media, one of the officers who took part in the raiding party revealed that the place had been the biggest gambling operation situated in the Central Highlands. He further explained that the police officers had to secretly move from the city of Ho Chi Min and travel through the hard-to-reach mountainous region to finally get to the illegal gambling den. Also, it turned out the difficult terrain and the darkness allowed several gamblers to flee from the place.
The police investigation still continues.
The Vietnamese authorities have long depicted gambling as a major social evil which puts the country’s residents in danger. Despite all concerns related to gambling, the local Government still made sports betting operations legal in 2017. At the time, it further revealed that it would make it possible for Vietnamese people who are at least 21 years of age and whose monthly income is no less than VND10 million (about $445) to place bets at certain casino venues across the country.