A gang of cheating gamblers who mug money from passengers, and even assault them, has emerged on long-range buses on National Highway 1A running through Da Nang, as a Tuoi Tre investigation has found.
One member of the gang led by a man named Dung Photo: Tuoi Tre
At 2:15 on August 6, on a bus that was traveling through the city’s Hoa Vang District, the bus driver’s assistant told the passengers, “The bus is going to halt for a moment to unload goods. Everybody watch their money carefully. If anyone does not like gambling, do not look at the gamblers who will get on the bus.”
The bus later stopped on Truong Chinh Street, Cam Le District, and Tuoi Tre saw a group of six men geton the bus. One of them – the “banker” – raised three playing cards, one of which was red, while theother two were black, in front of passengers. He then placed the cards face down on a wooden boardbut deliberately let everyone know the position of the red card.
He then said, “Anyone who bets a sum, for example VND10 million (US$480), and then correctly identifies the red card will win the same amount.”
One “passenger”, who actually belonged to the gang, agreed to bet VND2 million and won the game, a feat which was repeated by another gambler who was also from the gang.
One member of the gang then took VND2 million from his pocket and randomly placed it into the handof a male passenger. The gang member said, “Keep it to play with me. You will win and we will share the winning amount.”
The gangster then told the banker he and the passenger bet VND4 million in total. He then chose the card that everyone thought was the red one. However, when the “banker” turned up the cards, the selected one was actually black.
It turned out that the banker had changed the position of the red card without being noticed.
The passenger then loudly complained that he had not played, but the banker shouted at him, “You have bet VND2 million and it is in your hand. You have lost the game and have to pay, or I will give you a punch on the mouth.”
Gang members are luring passengers to gamble so that they mugged money from them (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
The victim was terrified and gave the banker all the money in his wallet – just over VND1 million.
Another gang member then searched him and took a mobile phone from his pocket.
The gang later approached a woman with a gold lace on her wrist, asking her to bet VND1 million. The woman was so scared that she could not even respond. The banker then turned up the cards and said the woman had lost the game. His fellows then searched her handbag and took VND1 million from it.
The gang then got off the bus, leaving anger among the victims as well as other passengers.
A similar scene was seen when a bus on the Da Lat-Hue route stopped at a round-about near the road leading to the Hai Van tunnel at 3 am on August 2 when a young man who had gotten off the bus was surrounded by a gang of 20 members and forced to play the same game.
The gang later took all the money in the victim’s pocket, along with his cell phone. The victim begged the gang to return his phone, saying, “I had not agreed to play, so I did not lose the game. Why did you take my money and the phone?” One member of the gang responded to him by beating him black and blue.
According to Tuoi Tre’s investigation, the gang in Da Nang has about 15 members, led by a man called Dung, who is about 30 years old. Dung usually does not get on any busses but has assigned his inferiors to appropriate money from passengers through gambling cheats.
The gang is also ready to brutalize any passengers who resist them. They have also forced passengers to buy “traditional medicines” at exorbitant prices.
Meanwhile, the gang operating near the Hai Van tunnel has about 30 members who usually gather at a café nearby to hunt for prey.
This woman (L) is one of the victims of the cheating gamblers (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Police to take action
When Tuoi Tre reporters passed their findings on to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Dang Van Khuon, deputy head of Da Nang’s Cam Le District, he said the police had been following the gang.
“We have summoned them and warned them to stop their offenses, or be strictly punished otherwise. Tuoi Tre’s findings showed that they have repeated their extortion. We will take stronger actions to crack down on them.”
Colonel Nguyen Manh Hung, head of the Lien Chieu District Police, admitted that some criminal gangs were operating there, forcing passengers on buses to play cards, threatening them and then taking money from them.
“The district police will coordinate with its counterparts in some wards involved to follow and arrest them,” Hung said.
Source: Tuoi Tre News
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