Vietnam Police Bust $3.8 Billion Crypto Gambling Ring: VTV

Ho Chi Minh City police have detained 59 people tied to the biggest illegal online gambling ring ever uncovered by Vietnamese authorities, according to state-owned broadcaster VTV.

The cryptocurrency gambling ring had transactions totaling more than $3.8 billion, which includes the amount of money gamblers put in the ring and excludes reciprocal money from the dealer, VTV reported, citing information from the police.

Gamblers in the ring registered cryptocurrency wallets on a foreign platform called Remitano to buy cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or USDT, also known as Tether, then would use the crypto to gamble on websites and, according to the report. 

Subjects admitted to authorities that they organized online gambling on those sites, which were intermediaries to international betting platform to earn commissions. When there were a large number of players, they crashed the websites in order to appropriate money from the digital wallets, the report said.

“This is a case of clear abuse of the Evolution brand,” Carl Linton, head of investor relations at Evolution said in an email. “The sites mentioned in the article are not customers of Evolution and our games are not accessible through these sites.”

“We take this situation very seriously, the aggregator connected to these sites has been identified and notified to take immediate action towards their customer and we reserve the right to make sure that our demands are fully enforced,” he said.

Ho Chi Minh City Police also detained items including 40 laptops, 79 cellphones, ATM cards, vehicles and cash worth more than 2.9 billion dong (US$130,000), according to the report.

Fraudulent activity is one of the main concerns about cryptocurrencies from regulators globally, in particular because many participants can transact across country borders and act with a relative degree of anonymity. Crypto-linked fraud is costing victims around the globe billions of dollars annually.