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31 Vietnamese workers arrested for gambling inside container in southern Taiwan

Vietnamese migrant workers caught betting on 'shake the plate' inside shipping container

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Vietnamese workers arrested at the scene. (Tainan City Police Department Photo)

Vietnamese workers arrested at the scene. (Tainan City Police Department Photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Police on Thursday (Sept. 16) arrested 31 Vietnamese migrant workers and a Taiwan citizen for illegal gambling inside a shipping container that had been converted into a casino.

Police in Tainan's Rende District recently received a tip that Vietnamese migrant workers were operating a gambling den specializing in the illegal game Xoc Dia (色碟, shake the plate). After a month-long investigation, officers pinpointed the gambling operation at a shipping container inside a remote factory alley.

At 1 a.m. on Thursday, 28 police officers conducted a raid on the facility. When police broke down the door, the frightened gamblers tried to flee, but the container was too small and there was no way for them to escape.

Once inside, police encountered the owner of the operation, a Taiwanese driver, two Vietnamese employees, 28 Vietnamese gamblers, gambling paraphernalia, and NT$759,300 (US$27,000) in cash, reported CNA.

31 Vietnamese workers arrested for gambling inside container in southern Taiwan
Xoc Dia paraphernalia spotted at the scene. (Tainan Police Department photo)

According to a police investigation, the casino mainly offered Xoc Dia, a Vietnamese game of chance that consists of four chips that are colored red on one side and white on the other that are placed on a plate and covered with a bowl. Gamblers place bets on which chips will turn up red or white and then the dealer shakes the plate and bowl, lifts the bowl, and pays the winners based on the result.

Police found that although all the people present were wearing face masks and numbered less than the maximum indoor limit of 80, they failed to observe the social distancing requirement of 1.5 meters. After questioning the suspects, police transferred them to the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for gambling (賭博罪) and the Tainan City Government Public Health Bureau for violating the "Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens" (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例).