Vietnamese illegal gambling ring sentenced to prison

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The People’s Court in the northern province of Bắc Ninh, Vietnam, has handed out jail terms to six members of an illegal online gambling ring.

The gambling ring, which operated for 44 days before the arrests, generated earnings totalling over VND4.6bn, with main proponent Ngô Bá Khá personally taking over VND280m (US$12,068).

Khá, a high-profile public figure with nearly two million YouTube subscribers, was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison, along with a fine of VND30m for organising illegal gambling.

Nguyễn Hữu Hộ was sentenced to eight years and six months for the same charge, also receiving a fine of VND30m.

The other four defendants received jail terms ranging from 15 months to five years and had to pay VND10m each in fines.

According to the original indictment, the gambling ring took advantage of the state lottery.

This year has seen a string of similar arrests in Vietnam as authorities clamp down on illegal online gambling in the country.

September and August saw the closure of a US$69m online gambling ring, which helped players bet through b8ag.com, and a US$130.4m online football betting ring.

Arrests for both incidents totalled 58, with defendants yet to be charged.

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