HANOI: Police in football-mad Vietnam said on Tuesday that they have arrested 52 people for participating in an illegal gambling syndicate betting on European matches.
The 52 were nabbed in a raid on a sports restaurant in the southern metropolis hub of Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, a local policeman said.
Police also seized US$6,700 in cash, 30 mobile phones, and several pieces of broadcasting equipment.
The syndicate took bets via their mobile phones, or in person at the city's hundreds of sports cafes, on the English Premier League, Italy's Serie A, the Spanish Primera Liga and the European Champions League.
Despite being outlawed, football gambling is widespread in Vietnam. Low pay and poor motivation often make police an easy target for bribes from underground bookmakers. – AFP