Appeal trial on trillion-VND online gambling case slated for March 5

The high-level People’s Court in Hanoi has announced that it will open the appeal trial on an online gambling case involving huge amount of money mounting to trillions of dong and two former generals in the public security sector on March 5. 

The defendants at the first instance court 
The trial, held at the appeal of the Phu Tho People’s Procuracy and defendants, will try 83 defendants over a course of eight days at the People’s Court of the northern province of Phu Tho.

The defendants will not include two former police generals Phan Van Vinh and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, who did not appeal against their sentences of 9 years and 10 years in prison, respectively, for abusing position and power while performing duty.

Two other defendants in the first-instance trial, Phan Sao Nam (former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the VTC Online Telecommunications Co. (VTC Online) and Nguyen Van Duong (former Chairman of the Members Council of the Hi-tech Security Development and Investment Co. (CNC) did not lodge appeal but they will still be tried at the appeal court at the request of the procuracy. At the first instance trial, Nam was given five years and Duong 10 years on two charges of organising gambling and laundering money.

The first instance trial on the case was held from November 12-30, 2018 by the Phu Tho People’s Court involving 92 defendants.

After that, the Phu Tho People’s Procuracy appealed the verdict, asking the high-level Hanoi court to review three issues, including the application of aggravating circumstances to 27 defendants and extenuating circumstances to 36 defendants. The procuracy also appealed against the confiscation of money used in gambling of 43 defendants.

Besides, 83 defendants filed appeals or petitions against the verdict.

The online gambling ring through the card game Rikvip/Tip.club was led by Phan Sao Nam and Nguyen Van Duong.

The ring included 25 tier-1 outlets, 5,877 tier-2 outlets and 42,956,718 gambling accounts. It was found to have gained more than 9.85 trillion VND (428.2 million USD) in revenue from online gambling.

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