Vietnamese officials bet thousands on football

Vietnam police have identified five leaders and four officers from State agencies who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an illegal betting ring, said a Thanh Nien source recently.

Bui Tien Dung (pictured at his arrest in January), general director of PMU18 road construction project and Nguyen Viet Bac, vice director of Vietnam Expressways Corporation (VEC) have already admitted their involvement in the betting ring.

The source confirmed the three other leaders include Bui Tien Dung’s superior, the general director of a State agency, and the director of a road construction project management board. Four officers include two from Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport and two policemen in Hanoi, according to the source.

The source revealed that a bet of some US$320,000 was placed by the PMU18 director Dung on the Arsenal–Manchester United game on 3 January 2006 - $100,000 of which was contributed Dung’s superior.

The game finished in a nil-nil draw, thus the bet was a loss and Dung’s superior refused to pay. In the end, Dung had to mortgage his house and land to cover his boss’s bad debt.

Dung is still in hawk for around VND20 billion, owed to a variety of underworld individuals due to his betting problem, said the source.

See also: Senior official arrested for gambling in Vietnam (23 Jan)