An illegal gambling operation that was said to have been worth more than $25m has been closed down by police in Vietnam.
According to media reports Quang Nam Province police arrested a number of men involved in the illegal operation, whose ages ranged between 28 and 33. It is reported that the gambling network covered a number of territories in both central and southern Vietnam and was headed by a man who has been identified as Huynh Quoc Viet.
Acting as an illegal bookmaker, the gambling ring was alleged to have been placing bets for clients using a US-based gambling site named as Bong88. According to the local police, the gambling ring had earned more than VND600billion ($25million) in gambling revenue from its customers, but also practised extortion methods including violence to reclaim unpaid bets.
The police raided a number of premises in several cities in Vietnam, and recovered weapons, mobile phones, cars and money worth VND400million ($10,000) from the illegal operation.
These raids are the latest attempt by the Vietnamese authorities to fight back against illegal gambling. Last month, more than 90 people were indicted on charges of being involved in a massive $426million online gambling ring. Those charged included police officers.
As well as enforcement action, the government of Vietnam has also been attempting to boost the regulated betting market as a counterweight. In June, the Ministry of Finance announced that it intended to offer football match betting licenses next year, in an attempt to reduce the flow of money to illegal gambling operators and the criminal activities associated with these operators.
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Andie Hughes is a freelance writer, based in the UK who specialises in sports betting, casino and betting industry news.