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City police hold ‘Youth' reporter on bribery charges

Update: January, 04/2012 - 10:00

HCM CITY — The HCM City Police's Economic Crimes Investigation Department on Monday temporarily detained a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter on bribery charges.

Thirty-nine-year old Nguyen Van Khuong, whose pen name is Hoang Khuong, allegedly asked Ton That Hoa, director of the Duy Nguyen Company, for help in bribing Huynh Minh Duc, a traffic policeman in Binh Thanh District.

In return, Duc was to help return a motorbike that had been seized by the police in an illegal race to Tran Minh Hoa, a friend of Nguyen Duc Dong Anh, 23, Khuong's brother-in-law.

Investigations show that after Hoa's motorbike was seized by the police, he asked Anh to help him retrieve it by bribing the police. In turn, Anh approached Khuong for help.

On June 25, 2011, Khuong asked Hoa, who has connections with the local police, to pay VND15 million (US$714) to Huynh Minh Duc, a traffic policeman in Binh Thanh District, to get his bike back.

After accepting the bribe, Duc returned the motorbike without its registration certificate. Hoa threatened Duc, saying he would ask reporter Khuong to expose the bribery.

On July 10, 2011, a news item titled "Traffic police accept bribes" to release illegal racing motorbike was carried in the newspaper.

On November 18, 2011, police from the Economic Crimes Investigation department temporarily detained Duc and Hoa on charges of receiving and offering bribes, respectively.

The police also asked relevant authorities to withdraw the reporter credentials of Khuong and inform Tuoi Tre newspaper about the case.

The editorial board of Tuoi Tre newspaper later suspended Khuong, although the latter has claimed that his motive in organising the bribery was to collect evidence of police corruption.

The police maintain that the actions of Hoa and Khuong were premeditated and an offence under the Criminal Law.

The illegal motorbike racer's friend, Anh, was also detained by the police yesterday to investigate charges of instigating bribery. — VNS

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