Corrupt traffic inspectors in Can Tho spend ‘protection fee’ on job promotion

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 06/23/2017 17:05 GMT + 7

A group of former traffic inspectors in Can Tho City in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region previously arrested for demanding ‘protection money’ from local businesses claim the cash was used to ‘buy’ promotions.

At a trial held for seven of the corrupt traffic inspectors at the municipal People’s Court on Thursday, some of the defendants admitted that the extortion money was used to pay for job promotions.

Duong Minh Tam, a former deputy chief traffic inspector in Can Tho, said he spent VND370 million (US$16,240) for his position.

The admission clarified a previous question from Judge Nguyen Van Trinh as to why Tam, despite being the youngest of the suspects, had the fastest and furthest career advancement.

Tam also admitted that the money was directed to Truong Van Phuc, the chief traffic inspector at the Can Tho Department of Transport.

Similarly, Vo Hoang Anh, ex-chief of the traffic inspection unit in Ninh Kieu District, revealed that he paid PhucVND350 million ($15,362) for his promotion, though Anh claimed that no evidence exists of the transfer since the money was given to Phuc at his private residence.

At the end of the trial, the jury agreed with the People’s Procuracy’s request to halt legal proceedings until a new indictment could be established with the newly presented information taken into account.

Duong Minh Tam, former deputy chief traffic inspector, speaks at the trial on June 22, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

During a phone call with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the afternoon of the same day, Phuc refuted Tam and Anh’s testimonies.

According to the previous indictment, Tam and Anh, along with Doan Vu Duy, Ly Hoang Minh, Nguyen Tran Luu, Ho Cong Thien, and Tran Lap Phap, all former officials at traffic inspection units in Can Tho, were charged with forcing local businesses to pay ‘protection fees’ so that their firm’s vehicles would not be fined for traffic violations.

Nguyen Van Can and Tran Tuong An were also charged for acting as intermediaries in the violation.

Several victims filed a report denouncing the corruption in January 2016.

In July of the same year, officers caught Minh red-handed receiving bribes from a local company.

The other suspects were nabbed between July and September last year.

Evidence showed that the former traffic inspectors had pocketed a combined VND4 billion ($175,573).

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This entry was posted in Anti-corruption - Chống tham nhũng, Cần Thơ, Corruption - Tham nhũng, Governance - Công quyền and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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