Vietnamese Police Bust Online Gambling Ring Worth $858m

  • Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security made 21 arrests during the bust
  • Internet servers in Vietnam and overseas were used as part of this operation
  • The online gambling ring handled an estimated $858m since January 2019
  • Bank transfers and prepaid cards were used to process transactions
arrested man with handcuffs on wrists
Vietnamese police have busted an online gambling operation that had handled $858m in wagers. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

21 arrests made

An online gambling ring in Vietnam valued at VND20 trillion ($858m) was taken down on Wednesday by the country’s Ministry of Public Security.

As a result of this operation, Hanoi and Saigon police made 21 arrest. The alleged leaders of the online gambling ring, 28-year-old Nguyen Thi Huong Ly and 24-year-old Nguyen Duc Manh, were two of those arrested.

about $858m was handled by this gambling ring since January 2019

Online gambling was being offered to locals through the likes of lottery draws and poker. The ring was using internet servers both in Vietnam and overseas. According to estimates made by the Vietnamese authorities, about $858m was handled by this gambling ring since January 2019.

Insight into the illegal operation

The online gambling ring’s clients in Vietnam were using social media and phones to contact those involved and place their bets. Cash would be sent between bank accounts or by using prepaid cards to cover these bets.

Ly was the person creating accounts for clients through the website the ring was using, allowing gamblers to then conduct transactions. In April, she traveled from Hanoi to Saigon to rent a location for her accomplices. 

Gambling in Vietnam

For many years, gambling was seen as a “social evil” in Vietnam and there were very limited forms of gambling. However, sports betting became legal in 2017 following a trial period. There are now commercial casinos dotted across the country for tourists.

Vietnamese authorities have been focusing on cracking down on any illegal gambling operations they come across. This is just the latest in a series of busts in recent years.

A total of 380 arrests made in July 2019 as a result of a $435m illegal gambling operation. Just two months later, an operation worth $130m was shut down. We have also reported on a high-ranking official from Vietnam who found himself caught up in an illegal gambling ring