Vietnamese Police Arrest 16 in a $2.6bn Gambling Scandal

2 Jun 2020

Police in Hanoi, Vietnam made a crackdown on an illegal online gambling site whose revenues are estimated to have been at a whopping $2.6bn. The site ‘No Hu’ was established back in 2018 and is reported to be recording transactions of up to $110m per month. The $2.6bn crackdown marks the largest ever reported operation of its kind in Vietnam where online gambling and private card rooms are banned.

According to An Ninh Thu Do, a Vietnamese media house, players gambling on the website bought credit from agents who would then get their rewards in cash if they managed to win the games. On top of that, associated agents also issued gambling loans to customers who had lost all money against collateral like motorcycles among a wide range of other assets.

During the apprehension, several mobile phones, SIM cards, and ATM cards were seized. Investigations are currently underway on the whereabouts of the generated revenue after the website was shut down last Friday when the culprits were arrested.

While the country has recently relaxed some of its strict anti-gambling laws, this crackdown is a sign that the Vietnamese government will not stop at anything until all illegal gambling operations in the state have been shut down. Last year, a handful of gambling-related arrests were made in the country, including the arrest of Khá, a high-profile public figure with over two million YouTube subscribers. Khá was sentenced to 10 and a half years of prison time after pleading guilty of being associated with illegal gambling activities.

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