Vietnam Police Arrests Seven for Illegal Football Betting

Suspects busted as Euro 2012 football competition approaches ending

According to the statement issued by the police spokesman, a Vietnam's major internet gambling ring connected to Euro 2012 football competition was successfully cut.

The authorities call it the largest gambling bust during the Euro 2012 with the arrest of seven people and seizure of six luxury cars, large amounts of cash and high value credit cards, lap-tops, guns and other weapons in several coordinated police raids.

The chief suspect, Pham Van Cuong (33) was arrested jointly with six other members of the crew for gambling and possessing illegal weapons, the police stated. Allegedly, Cuong also acted as a loan shark, intimidating punters, and even sending armed hooligans to collect unsettled debts.

Police continues the follow-up activities in order to determine whether the ring may have been part of a larger overseas-controlled illicit project, enabling inflow and outflow of large amounts of money to and from the country.

Head of the Ministry of Public Security's Criminal Police Colonel, Ho Sy Tien, said that shutting-down of the ring was successful primarily due to cooperation of the police department with the Cyber Crime department and police in Hanoi and nearby Bac Ninh Province.

Colonel Nguyen Thanh Hoa, head of the cyber crime department, said at the last-week's conference that football betting is becoming more 'high-tech,' with around 30 new websites emerging every day, aggravating the police activities.

Since June 5, more than 180 remote gambling sites have been closed in Vietnam as the ministry tried to curb gambling during Euro 2012, but IT experts assess that players keep finding ways to place wagers online through social networking sites and chat rooms.

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