Two Soc Trang officials face charges for gambling

The Soc Trang Province Police Department has started taking legal action against the gambling case in which two transport officials in the Mekong province had played Chinese chess for lots of money, the department’s spokesperson said Wednesday.

The spokesperson, Colonel Phan Huu Thuy, said police temporarily kept in custody Nguyen Thanh Leo, deputy director of the province’s Transport Department and Tran Van Tan, director of a driver training center in the province.
They were not arrested, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Mr. Le Thanh Quan, the province’s deputy Party chief, had earlier reiterated provincial leaders’ point of view that the law is above all, no matter who breaks the law.

In general, gambling for money is illegal in Vietnam. It is allowed only in some casinos, for foreigners.

On Dec 22, Soc Trang Police caught the two officials playing Chinese chess for money at Thy Tai billiards shop in Ward 2, Soc Trang City. Police said as for per game played at the place, the loser had to pay the winner VND5 billion (almost US$240,000).

Earlier, Leo had showed him up to the police saying that he had played Chinese chess with Tan many times and his losses had accumulated up to VND22 billion. He had paid VND5 billion, and was unaffordable to pay the rest. Then, the other hired gangsters to come to his house threatening his whole family.

By N. Thien, translated by Tuong Thuy

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