Vietnam police smash US$3.8 billion cryptocurrency ring


HO CHI MINH CITY, Dec 3 (AFP): Vietnamese police have smashed a huge cryptocurrency ring worth around US$3.8 billion, state media said on Friday (Dec 3), as authorities battle rampant illegal gambling in the country.

Fifty-nine people were detained in southern business hub Ho Chi Minh City, accused of luring players through social media to place bets online, according to the city police's official newspaper.

The gambling ring is reportedly the biggest ever uncovered by Vietnamese police.

State media said players were instructed to buy a cryptocurrency wallet and convert their money into one of two digital currencies, Ethereum or USDT -- also known as Tether -- before placing bets on Swiftonline.live and Nagaclubs.com.

To entice new players, the detainees posted pictures on social networks showing off their fancy cars, expensive houses and extravagant parties.

To sway the more cautious, scammers also offered players insurance packages, with the promise of a refund if they did not win after six games.

However, during periods when there were a large number of players, the ring leaders crashed the websites in order to steal money from the digital wallets and avoid detection by police.

Officers confiscated 55 laptops and desktops, 39 mobile phones and seven luxury cars from the gang in Ho Chi Minh City.

State media said the gang had also established large-scale gambling networks in many other provinces and cities across the country.

Vietnam's communist government has started loosening its grip on domestic gambling, allowing Vietnamese to bet in casinos and opening up some sports betting.

But online gambling and private card rooms remain banned.

Still, despite regular crackdowns on illegal gambling, rings run by both locals and foreigners continue to flourish.

Last year police uncovered a massive online card ring with revenues estimated at US$2.6 billion. - AFP

Article type: free
User access status:
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Chinese mainland's new local Covid-19 infections on the decline
Philippines to import 60,000 tonnes of fish to cover shortage
Pangolins should be upgraded to ‘totally protected species’, says WWF-Malaysia
Norway keen on Sabah’s green energy production
China drafts rules to ease property developers' use of escrow funds
Indonesian militant linked to Bali bombings given 15 year jail term –judge
Asean to prioritise fighting pandemic, reviving tourism in 2022: Hun Sen
Chinese contractors to build Philippines' fastest, longest railway: envoy
Cambodia opposition leader calls for treason charges to be dropped as trial resumes
Micro full moon spotted by Thais in several areas

Others Also Read


Vouchers