Friday, January 6, 2012

Saigon’s sharper gang extorts millions of USD

The gang leader Bui Van Thuy.

HCM City have arrested five suspects, including Bui Van Thuy, 38, Nguyen Van Dai, 45, Vu Huu Xo, 45, Le Dinh Bon, 46 and Nguyen Van Kim for investigation. Thuy is defined as the gang leader.

Police said that this gang, with nearly 20 members, has operated for years. This gang’s trick is disguising as entrepreneurs to get acquainted with rich businessmen, then enticing them to play cards and extort their assets.

In the latest case, the gang leader, Thuy, told Xo to act as an employee of a company in HCM City to ask Mr. Hoang’s help, a rich man in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, to buy land in Binh Phuoc to plant rubber trees.

Xo drove a luxurious car from HCM City to Binh Phuoc to see Hoang. This man then invited Hoang to go with him to HCM City to meet with his boss. In HCM City, Xo took Hoang to a big restaurant in Tan Binh district to drink. After that, the rich man was brought to a house in Binh Thanh District, where four men were playing cards.

After several minutes, one of the four men said he was busy and left the house. Before leaving, the man asked Hoang to play cards for him.

In the first games, Hoang won a lot of money. However, he diced away for several consecutive games, worth VND450 million ($22,000). The gang forced Hoang to write a debenture.

Some members of the gang.

After taking Hoang back to his home, the gang threatened to kill Hoang’s family if the businessman does not pay the debt. Hoang had to give them VND100 million ($5,000). Two days later, they forced Hoang to go to HCM City to pay the remaining debt. At noon of January 2, four sharpers were caught in the act while receiving Hoang’s money in a coffee shop in Binh Tan district.

On January 3, police arrested the gang leader, Bui Van Thuy.

These men confessed that they carried out around ten cases of this type, extorting from tens to hundreds of thousands of USD each case. The money was given to Thuy, who would share to the whole gang.

Most of the gang members are criminals from the northern port city of Hai Phong, who were former members of a godfather named Luan, who was recently condemned to death for organized murder.

Investigators said that this gang possibly conducted hundreds of similar cases, extorting millions of USD. These sharpers own villas and luxurious cars and are known as playboys in HCM City.

HCM City police called for all victims to notify their cases, promising to keep secret of their personal information and to not see them as gamblers.