Featured in this article:
  • Vietnamese police crack illegal gambling ring
  • Bettors were able to illegally wager via an app
  • 2021 has witnessed some big raids across the world

3 Minute Read

The supposed scene of one of the Vietnamese raids

Police in Vietnam have cracked one of the world’s biggest illegal online gambling rings after seizing millions of dollars in a nationwide raid.

The ring – based primarily out of the Vietnamese city of Hanoi – had earned $617.8m since July 2020 and was busted after a long investigation by authorities who had been seeking to shut down an operation that had been going for months.

According to the Vietnamese Express, 15 task forces involving more than 200 police officers were deployed on November 4th to inspect properties in Hanoi, the southern Island of Pau Quoc and a string of other northern provinces.

Three of the gang’s ringleaders were identified among the 23 people detained. Also confiscated by police were documents and four Mercedes cars.

Online gambling is illegal in Vietnam and authorities are persistently seeking to crack down on criminal rings. In this instance, the gang operated an illegal gambling website and app that gave players the chance to win money when playing on games. Players bought coins via direct bank transfers and then spent them on the games. They were able to ‘cash in’ the coins if they won.

However, with no safety protocols or legislative protection, players who gambled with the group risked never seeing their money again.

2021: A Year In Gambling Raids

The raid in Vietnam by is no means the first of the year. In fact, across the world there have been some high-profile crackdowns of illegal gambling in 2021.

Back in April Federal authorities launched a raid on 24 San Diego locations, which led to 35 arrests and the seizure of 640 gambling machines. More than 450 law enforcement officials contributed to the raid, which also unearthed 44 firearms, 12 pounds of methamphetamine and $263,000 in cash.

July saw German police bust one of their own in a raid of 41 houses near the French border. The raid was part of a 400-force strong operation across the country. The arrested suspects were alleged to be involved in illegal gambling and commercial fraud – and in particular the manipulation of gambling software to produce fewer winning instances on machines.

Also in July and illegal casino was busted in East Oakland, California.

A month later in Austria police conducted a coordinated raid on 39 locations to seize 121 illegal gambling machines. Eleven of the locations had to be broken in to, while some machines were anchored to walls. Austria’s finance minister Gernot Blümel said: “The regular operations of the financial police against illegal gambling make it increasingly unattractive for the operators to pursue their dirty business on the back of gambling addicts. This is a severe blow to organized crime in Upper Austria and the financial police will continue to crack down on it in the future!”

Also in August INTERPOL’s Operation SOGA VIII (short for soccer gambling) made thousands of arrests across Europe and Asia during the Euro 2020 soccer tournament. Around 1400 people were detained for their roles in suspected illegal gambling on soccer and other sports. Nearly $8m in cash was seized and records of $465m worth of illegal bets retrieved.

Police forces from 28 nations took part, while over in Hong Kong there were 800 suspects detained.

It was the fourth SOGA operation INTERPOL has conducted and the international policing network has so far arrested 19,100 suspects, closed more than 4,000 illegal gambling dens and seized over $63m in cash.

And incredibly, in October 31 migrant Vietnamese workers were detained after setting up a small gambling ring in a shipping container in Taiwan.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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