Phan Van Vinh, former official from the Ministry of Public Security, who were accused of abusing their positions and power in the case (Photo: VNA)

Phu Tho (VNA)
– The People’s Court  of the northern province of Phu Tho announced on October 29 that it would be holding the first instance trial on November 12 for 92 people accused of involvement in a major online gambling ring.

The defendants will be prosecuted for charges including the organisation of gambling, gambling, abusing position and power while performing duties, illegally trading invoices, laundering money, and using the internet for asset appropriation.

Another 73 additional people whose rights and interests were involved in the case will also be present at the court.

There will be 30 defence counsels for the defendants and three others for the 73 people mentioned above.

Phan Van Vinh and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former officials from the Ministry of Public Security, who were accused of abusing their positions and power in the case, have each invited three defence counsels. Meanwhile, Phan Sao Nam and Nguyen Van Duong, accused of being the masterminds behind the online gambling ring, will have five and three defence counsels at the first instance, respectively.

During an earlier probe, Phu Tho police launched criminal proceedings against 105 people for the seven charges. However, the investigations into 13 of them, 12 of whom were being hunted, were suspended.

They said there is sufficient evidence to confirm that the online gambling ring through the card game Rikvip/Tip.club was led by Phan Sao Nam (former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co.) and Nguyen Van Duong (former Chairman of the Member Council of the High-tech Security Development and Investment Ltd Co.).

The ring included 25 tier-1 outlets, 5,877 tier-2 outlets, and 42,956,718 gambling accounts. It was found to have gained more than 9.85 trillion VND (428.2 million USD) in revenue from online gambling.

Deducting more than 3.7 trillion VND (160.9 million USD) paid for by gamblers and involved companies to cover management costs, staff salary, and tax; the involved persons received some 4.71 trillion VND (204.8 million USD), including 1.47 trillion VND (63.9 million USD) for Phan Sao Nam and 1.65 trillion VND (71.7 million USD) for Nguyen Van Duong.

The investigation agency has seized more than 1.34 trillion VND (58.3 million USD) from the ring organisers and accomplices.

Phu Tho police said they also have sufficient ground to ask for the prosecution of Phan Van Vinh, former Lieutenant General and former Director General of the Police General Department under the Ministry of Public Security; and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former Major General and former Director of the ministry’s High-tech Crime Police Department, for abusing their positions and power in association with the case. –VNA