~ Le Vięt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

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Vietnam jails online football betting ring

HANOI — A Vietnamese court has jailed members of an illegal online betting ring for up to 15 years for arranging bets on European football matches to a value of 10 million dollars, a court official said. Its ringleader, a Vietnamese-born Canadian called Ngo Tien Dung, received the heaviest sentence while his chief accomplice was jailed for 10 years, an official from the Hanoi People's Court said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was the biggest amount ever recorded in a football betting trial in Vietnam. The court heard they organised bets on a number of European championships between December 2005 and February 2006, and also forged links with betting syndicates in Cambodia, Hong Kong and Macau. Another 11 members of the network were given sentences ranging from six years in jail to two years suspended following their three-day trial, which ended Monday. According to reports here, Dung, 49, had a criminal record dating back to the 1980s. He left for Canada, obtained Canadian nationality in 2002 and returned to Vietnam two years later.

Football betting and other forms of gambling are illegal but widespread in communist Vietnam, where many fans place bets online.

Agence France Presse - February 27, 2008.