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|Nguyen Van Duong (left) and Phan Sao Nam (right) are masterminds of the billion-Vietnamese-dong gambling ring|
Phu Tho Police confirmed they have expanded the investigation into Nguyen Van Duong, former board chairman of high-tech security development company CNC, and general director Luu Thi Hong for the additional charges of bribery. However they have not revealed which officials received their bribes.
The investigation found that Duong was a technical partner of the cyber crime division (C50) at the Ministry of Public Security before he started operating the gambling ring in May 2015 and allegedly received help from some top officials at the ministry.
Nguyen Van Duong operated the ring in collaboration with Phan Sao Nam, founder and former board chairman of major online communication firm VTC, using two online game portals that resembled professional casinos.
On Rikvip or Tip.club, players could gamble virtual money and convert their winnings to real money. Players could obtain virtual money by redeeming mobile top-up cards, CNC's pre-paid cards or by paying the tech companies through bank transfers.
Investigators found the portals drew around 14 million players and had nearly VND9.54 trillion ($420 million) in circulation. Duong and Nam had gained around VND3.2 trillion ($141 million) from the ring, making it the biggest and most profitable gambling network uncovered in the country.
Around 88 people have been under criminal probe, 40 of whom have been arrested, including Phan Van Vinh, former head of the General Department of Police, and subordinate Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former director of the Ministry of Public Security's cyber crime division (C50).