Police outline threat of sophisticated crime

HA NOI  (VNS)— Millions of dollars were illegally exchanged through online gambling rings in Viet Nam every day during the World Cup championship held in June and July this year.

Based on that figure, Vietnamese likely gambled billions of dollars every year, deputy general director of the Public Security Ministry's General Department on Combating Crimes Lieutenant General Tran Trong Luong said at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Moreover, high-tech crimes caused losses of about US$400 billion a year, which was higher than drug trafficking crimes, according to an Interpol report.

"These crimes have seriously affected national security and social order and threaten the nation's economic development," Luong said.

While the ministry had busted many gambling rings and organisations and discovered thousands of websites and Internet protocol (IP) addresses dedicated to illegal gambling, ringleaders had merely switched tactics to evade authorities.

During the World Cup, the police discovered more than 1,450 websites and IP addresses hosting gambling and football betting. They also supervised and followed the log-ins of over 2,520,000 accesses into gambling sites.

The police cracked down on the biggest online football-betting ring through the website M88.com, which involved thousands of gamblers throughout the country. The syndicate where the gamblers placed their bets was caught holding more than VND1.5 trillion ($70 million).

"Those efforts not only helped reduce the number of illegal gamblers but also sent a warning to those intending to gamble online," Luong said.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong, stressed that the fight against such crimes had become more focused and urged relevant agents and units to continue research on criminal tactics.

He also asked for improvements from key sectors, especially the Internet administration and banking sectors.

"Supervision of transactions from Viet Nam to abroad and vice versa, as well as suspicious transactions, should be stepped up," he said.

Vuong said that all sectors of the Ministry of Public Security should work closely with the Ministry of Information and Communications and the State Bank of Viet Nam to tighten regulations on preventing money laundering and supervise casino activities.

Vietnamnews

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