The Phu Tho provincial People’s Court on November 12 brought to trial two former senior officers of the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) and 90 accomplices for their alleged involvement in a major online gambling ring.
Nguyen Thanh Hoa (standing, centre), former Director of the MoPS’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department, is brout to the trial on November 12 (Photo: VNA)
The 92 defendants face the charges of “using the internet to appropriate assets”, “organising gambling”, “gambling”, “illegally trading invoices”, “laundering money”, and “abusing positions and power while performing duties”.
They include former Director General of the MoPS’s Police General Department Phan Van Vinh and former Director of the MoPS’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department Nguyen Thanh Hoa.
Both are prosecuted for “abusing positions and power while performing duties”, an offence that has the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
The court said this is a case with a lot of complexities and a record number of defendants in Phu Tho. The first-instance trial is scheduled to last for 15 days and open for the media.
At this trial, 73 other people with relevant interests and obligations and 14 witnesses will also be summoned.
The 92 defendants are accused of being involved in the ring that organised online gambling through the card game Rikvip/Tip.club, led by Phan Sao Nam (former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co. – VTC Online) and Nguyen Van Duong (former Chairman of the Members Council of the Hi-tech Security Development and Investment Co. – CNC).
According to the indictment of the Phu Tho provincial People’s Procuracy, Duong and accomplices used high technology to commit the crimes, happening in Phu Tho and some other provinces and cities, with the support of Phan Van Vinh and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, who held positions and power in their agencies and were tasked with hi-tech crime prevention and combat.
During the 28 months of operating software and technological solutions with such card games as Rikvip/Tip.club, 23Zdo and Zon/Pen, the games’ operators connected with many services providing companies to set up a system of 25 tier-1 outlets and 5,877 tier-2 outlets to convert game scores into real money and vice versa.
They attracted more than 42.95 million gambling accounts and earned nearly 10 trillion VND (428.3 million USD) from the money gamblers sent to the illegal gambling organising service.VNA