HANOI: Police in Vietnam said yesterday they have arrested seven people running an illegal gambling syndicate taking bets on English Premier League matches.
The gang was rumbled over the weekend in the southern province of Long An after a lengthy surveillance operation, a provincial police spokesman said.
The alleged ringleader, Dang Tai Ngoc, 42, was arrested after police raided his house in the Tan Tru and seized books containing betting transactions.
Six alleged dealers, including Tran Anh Dung, a former professional player, were arrested in simultaneous sweeps throughout the province.
Police said they confiscated nearly US$24,000 in cash, seven mobile phones and 30 account books during the raids.
Despite being outlawed, football gambling is widespread in the communist nation. Low pay and poor morale often make police an easy target for bribes from underground bookmakers.
Most major syndicates bet on foreign matches, but the domestic V-League has also been marred by allegations of corruption and match-fixing among players since its debut 2000-01 season. – AFP