Online gambling sites victimizing Vietnamese busted, operators charged

08/18/2020 10:55 PM
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Chang Chao-hsiung (張詔雄), an officer of the CIB
Chang Chao-hsiung (張詔雄), an officer of the CIB's International Criminal Affairs Division / CNA photo Aug. 18, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) A Taiwanese engineer and seven others were charged last week for operating an online gambling website targeting Vietnamese migrant workers in Taiwan, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The 49-year old engineer, surnamed Wu, allegedly set up a computer shop in March at his residence in Zhubei City, Hsinchu County, using it as a front for the online gambling operation, said

An investigation showed that the website was written in Vietnamese, which attracted many Vietnamese migrant workers in the area, Chang said.

About 30 Vietnamese migrant workers were customers of the website in March alone, raking in more than NT$100,000 (US$3,361) for Wu and his group, he said.

The CIB raided the computer shop in April after receiving tipoffs about the illegal operation and arrested six suspects who were working for Wu as engineers, accountants and administrative staffs, Chang said, adding that one other suspect turned himself in later.

Police operatives also confiscated six computers and found notes containing the names of the gamblers and amounts of bets the group received, he said.

Wu, the main suspect, was arrested on Aug. 12 after investigators gathered enough evidence against him, according to Chang.

Wu denied the allegation of operating the gambling site, claiming that he had only provided a platform for people to enjoy, Chang said.

He was charged with violating the country's Criminal Code and released on NT$30,000 bail, Chang said.

According to a CIB press release, illegal gambling is punishable by a prison term of six months to three years in Vietnam. As a result, many Vietnamese gambling operators set up their websites overseas to avoid these penalties.

Unscrupulous Taiwanese people have seen the potential profit of the business and have set up similar websites in the country to lure Vietnamese betters, the CIB said.

In Taiwan, providing gambling venues for profit, including gambling websites, is punishable by a jail term of no higher than three years, plus a possible fine of up to NT$90,000, according to the Criminal Code.

(By Huang Li-yun and Emerson Lim)

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