Thanh Nien News – Ho Chi Minh City police on Monday arrested 28 people in a major illegal lottery gambling ring believed of having operated for more than a year. Police said the ring’s kingpin is 36-year-old Nguyen Ngoc Thang, who had served three convictions of mugging, robbery and causing public nuisance.
Preliminary investigation found Thang organized so de, an illegal numbers game based on the state lottery, allowing players to bet any amount they want for payoffs up to 80 times the original wager.
He employed dozens of agents across the city to receive betting from gamblers, totaling dozens of billions of dong a day. He hired a villa in District 2’s Thao Dien Ward and installed security cameras and alarming systems to watch out for police’s detection.
On May 22, more than 120 police officers were mobilized in different groups to raid the villa after deactivating the facility’s watch-out systems, and to raid their agents.
They arrested Thang and his subordinate Nguyen Huu Loc red-handed receiving 87 facsimile messages for betting from their agents. Police said Thang hired Loc to receive betting and paying money to winning gamblers through ATM system.
At the same time, police raided Thang’s agents in nine districts and arrested 26 others.
Police have seized cash of more than VND2 billion (US$94,000) and $200, seven ATM cards, a saving book, 895 so de betting notes, 30 fax machines, 23 computers and 47 cell phones. Police are investigating if more people are involved in this illegal betting ring.