http://www.chinaview.cn 2006-05-08 11:55:40
HANOI, May 8 (Xinhua) — An official at Vietnam’s Transport Ministry has spent 2.6 million U.S. dollars on betting international soccer matches, and he has tried to bribe influential figures with over 62,600 dollars for lighter charges against him, local media reported Monday.

Bui Tien Dung, general director of the Project Management Unit No. 18 (PMU18) under the Transport Ministry, which implements and overseas major transport projects, has made soccer bets via two international gambling rings to the tune of some 2.6 million dollars, Transport newspaper quoted initial conclusions of the country’s Investigation Agency as saying.

Before being arrested in January for the charge of gambling, Dung has asked his underlings to use 59,500 dollars and 50 million Vietnamese dong (VND) (over 3,100 dollars) to bribe several state officials so that charges against him would be lessened.

To date, the Investigation Agency has had no evidence about bribery taking, although the underlings, all detained, have allegedly tried to approach some officials of the General Directorate of Police under the Ministry of Public Security, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, and the Government Office.

According to the initial conclusions, Dung’s superior, Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Viet Tien has intentionally acted counter to state regulations in economic management, and had slack responsibility. Dung and Tien lent 34 automobiles of the PMU 18 and seven other vehicles, which are temporarily imported for re-export, to other local organizations, causing a total loss of more than 14.8 billion VND (930,800 dollars) to the state budget.

The Vietnamese government has recently asked the National Assembly of Vietnam, the country’s highest legislative body, to relieve Transport Minister Dao Dinh Binh, who has already resigned, partly for his slack responsibility for the PMU 18 scandal.

The World Bank and the UK Department for International Development plan to send an inspection team to Vietnam in June to review implementation of the bank-funded projects, including those carried out by the PMU 18. Enditem

Editor: Pliny Han
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(Xinhua)
Updated: 2006-07-10 14:28 Sixteen Vietnamese bookmakers and bettors have been detained in the biggest soccer betting ring detected in Vietnam during the World Cup 2006, local newspaper Saigon Liberation reported Monday.The bookmakers, three men from southern Ho Chi Minh City, acted as intermediaries between bookies of an international betting ring and Vietnamese bettors. The 16 people were detained in the city on Sunday when they gave and received money totaling 100,000 U.S. dollars regarding bets on the last two games of the soccer event.

During the World Cup, local gamblers made bets of between thousands and tens of thousands of dollars via the three bookies, including a 35-year-old man named Le Cong Hai.

Gambling, especially in the forms of soccer betting and card playing, is widespread in Vietnam, although all kinds of it, except for casinos designated for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese, are illegal in the country.

In Vietnam, where many people are passionate for both soccer and betting, dozens of local bettors and bookmakers were detained during major national and international soccer tournaments.

 
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Vietnamese police have arrested 16 bookmakers and intermediaries between bookies and bettors in two separate soccer betting rings, local media reported Tuesday.

The police on Monday detained the boss and 11 intermediaries in a ring operating in some northern localities, including Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Lao Cai and Yen Bai, with daily revenue of 3-5 billion Vietnamese dong (VND) (188.7 million to 314.5 million U.S. dollars) , said newspaper Youth.

The inter-provincial ring is led by a 38-year-old local man named Tran Chau Phong from Hanoi, the capital.

Last weekend, four local people from southern Ho Chi Minh City, including a man named Tran Duy Nghia, his son and Nghia’s brother- in-law, were detained for organizing soccer betting. Nghia opened a bank account of 100,000 dollars to serve betting transactions via the Internet.

For each World Cup soccer match, the four people received bets worth over 100 million VND (nearly 6,300 dollars) from local bettors.

Gambling, especially in the forms of soccer betting and card playing, is widespread in Vietnam, although all kinds of it, except for casinos designated for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese, are illegal in the country.

In Vietnam, where many people are passionate for both soccer and betting, dozens of local bettors and bookmakers were detained during major national and international soccer tournaments.

Source: Xinhua

In Vietnam, too, government and sports officials have declared they will be tough on offenders. Vietnam’s V- League has been beset by allegations of bribery in the past year, prompting the police to investigate some 90 players, referees and coaches, according to the Vietnamese news media.

 

Four members of an under-23 Vietnamese squad have been detained over allegations that they were paid to fix matches in the Southeast Asian Games last December. The Vietnam Football Federation is anxious to improve the image of the sport before it is co-host of the 2007 Asian Cup, amid doubts about its suitability for staging a major regional soccer event.

 

But beyond appeals to law enforcement agencies to pursue corruption cases and for clubs to adopt a more professional approach to the sport, there is little administrators can do to ensure clean games. Ahead of some important games, soccer administrators have tried locking up players and coaches and denying them access to telephones. Since 2003, the Asian Football Confederation has refused to accept referees from countries where corruption is perceived to be rife.

 

“There are countries where we are not recruiting anyone – no officials, no managers,” Hammam said, while declining to name the countries.

 

Still, there is a sense of a finger in the dike in the efforts to prevent corruption. Vast sums of money are pouring into legal and illegal gambling, creating strong incentives for bribery of officials and players in poorly paid leagues.

 

In January, a senior bureaucrat in Vietnam’s Transport Ministry was arrested for embezzling $1.8 million in aid money. The official is alleged to have placed bets on European soccer games. But investigators in Vietnam claim players have been offered as little as $1,300 to help throw a game, according to local media reports.

 

The growth in legal soccer gambling is illustrated by the experience of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. After launching soccer betting in the 2003-04 financial year, the club saw annual turnover rise to 26.7 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $3.4 billion, an increase of two-thirds in the first two years. This year soccer betting is expected to reap about half the revenue the club earns from horse racing.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/26/sports/wcasian.php

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HANOI: Vietnamese police have charged 17 referees and coaches with involvement in match-fixing, state media reported on Friday. Just hours before the opening match of the World Cup finals in Germany, the Lao Dang (Labour) newspaper said the coaches were accused of giving the referees, including one FIFA-certified official, up to $750 to fix two league matches in March and April 2005. Executive manager Vu Tien Thanh and coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh of East Asia Bank-Pomina Steel (EABPS), the club involved in both games, were arrested last year accused of bribing referees to help win promotion to the top tier V-league. The officials were also accused of fixing several other matches in 2004 and 2005 and face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty. Reuters

 
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Vietnam's Investigation Agency under the Ministry of Public Security have proposed that 17 people, including referees and officials of soccer clubs, should be prosecuted for receiving or giving bribes, local media reported Friday.

Of the 17 men, five have been detained, including the FIFA-recognized referee Truong The Toan, Young People newspaper reported. Toan is the sole Vietnamese referee having acted as a referee in a match at 2004 Athens Olympics.

The bribery scandal case was first investigated in August 2005, when local police found that a local referee named Luong Trung Viet and three assistants received a bribe of 130 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 8,200 U.S. dollars) from the management board of the Dong A-Pomina Steel Club so that they would fix a first-division game in April 2005 in the club's favor.

Since then, the police have found more referees and club officials had been involved in fixing games over the past two years. More than 40 local people, including referees, coaches and sports officials, have been convened to the agency for match rigging allegations.

The corrupt referees received bribes from coaches and managers of clubs to rule in favor of the bribe-giving teams, helping them have better results or not to be relegated in national tournaments.

Source: Xinhua

Thu, May 25 2006

By Mata Press Service

One of the suspects involved

with the long haul mafia

Vietnam police investigating a high profile corruption case involving government officers in Hanoi have arrested a Canadian who is reputedly the head of an international criminal syndicate.

The crime gang called "Long Haul" operates in Canada, Europe and Asia specializing in drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized betting on international soccer games, police said according to Vietnam-based news sources.

The Canadian was identified as 46-year-old Ngo Tien Dung alias Dung Kieu.

The Vietnamese native also uses the names Dung Hanoi and Lai Thanh Huu and reportedly operated out of Vancouver and Toronto.

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Canada told The Asian Pacific Post that the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi is aware of the detention and is providing consular assistance.

She refused further information citing the privacy legislation.

The RCMP, when contacted, said they had no information to share about the suspect.

Dung, according to a police reports in Hanoi was jailed in the late 1980s in Bac Thai jail for fraud and misappropriating other people’s assets.

Seventeen years ago, he allegedly killed another prisoner at the jail and escaped.

He then fled to Canada where he led the Long Haul mafia before returning to Vietnam in 1994 posing as a wealthy Viet kieu (overseas Vietnamese) investor.

Vietnamese media said Dung changed his named to Lai Thanh Huu in Canada, obtained citizenship and has traveled to Vietnam at least 35 times as an overseas businessman.

News reports said Dung is "the owner of five villas in Canada, one of which is worth US$7 million" and that he is believed to have laundered a whopping US$26 million in Vietnam through business contracts.

Major-General Pham Xuan Quac, head of Vietnam’s Department of Investigation of Social Order Crimes, said Dung collected an average pot of over US$1.5 million during every major international football game.

He said police were investigating how the gang channeled this money abroad to the bookies

Police, he said, have found assets and property worth US$20 to US$30 million registered in Dung’s name though it is unclear if he is their actual owner.

Dung’s arrest came as Vietnamese authorities were investigating a corruption scandal involving government officials taking bribes from contractors hired for a massive road development project.

The scandal centres around a transport ministry project management bureau known as PMU-18 – Vietnam’s richest state agency.

It manages around US$2 billion for road construction and other infrastructure projects, using government money as well as funds from overseas donors, notably Japan, the European Union, Australia and the World Bank.

Among those detained in the corruption scandal are former deputy minister of transport Nguyen Viet Tien and the project’s director general Bui Tien Dung.

The suspects had used upwards of US$2.6 million to place bets on international soccer games via the Long Haul mafia that was allegedly run by Dung and his henchman.

Vietnamese media reported that Dung has told police about his operations in Viet Nam and about his network of bookies in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau, Russia, Thailand, and Taiwan.

The Pioneer newspaper also reported that earlier this year, Dung allegedly offered US$50,000 to hire thugs to eliminate a man who had reportedly swayed the ‘gambling market’ in northern Hai Phong city.

He was allegedly bidding to control casinos there to launder money.

Two of Dung’s associates, Nguyen Ngoc Quang and Hoang Tuan have also been arrested while a third identified as Nguyen Van Loi is being hunted.

The arrests in Vietnam, which has dismantled a large international soccer betting syndicate, comes as police in many Asian countries work together to tackle the expected surge in illegal betting during the World Cup next month.

In Malaysia, police said the will use preventive detention laws and deploy plainclothes police personnel to eavesdrop at stalls, coffee shops and pubs to catch bookies and punters.

They are working undercover with counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore to nab bookies.

Malaysia’s Federal police anti-vice and gambling chief Sidin Abdul Karim said Hong Kong has become the region’s illegal betting centre, with bookies in Malaysia and Singapore linking their operations there.

During the last World Cup, Malaysian police busted 10 illegal gaming syndicates.