Viet Nam News
CẦN THƠ — Three traffic inspection officials in Cần Thơ City were arrested yesterday for accepting bribes totalling VNĐ3.5 billion (US$159,000) from various drivers who regularly travel to the city for business.
During a press meeting held yesterday, Colonel Trần Ngọc Hạnh, director of Cần Thơ City’s Public Security Department, said that besides the three traffic inspection officials from the city’s Department of Transport, another person acting as an intermediary was also arrested.
The three officials are Lý Hoàng Minh, 31; Võ Hoàng Anh, 34; and Đoàn Vũ Duy, 38. Nguyễn Văn Cần, 29, acted as the intermediary. The three men held positions such as head and deputy head of various traffic inspection teams in Cần Thơ.
Traffic inspection officials said they had caught Minh taking money from a representative of a transport company in a coffee shop near Nguyễn Văn Linh Street in Ninh Kiều District.
Police said that Minh had VNĐ17.5 million (US$795) in cash, US$100 and an ATM card and materials, which indicated that he was collecting “protection money” from transport companies, a construction store and a fishery company
Based on information provided by Minh, Cần was then arrested.
Anh and Duy were arrested on Wednesday on the same charge after Minh and Cần were questioned.
Colonel Hạnh said that an investigation was being conducted to identify the mastermind behind the crime.
Most vehicles passing through Cần Thơ City often have to give a cash bribe. If not, they will be harassed by traffic police officials.
Every month, enterprises give an estimated VNĐ1 million and VNĐ3 million (US$45- $136) as protection money, according to investigation police.
Cần worked as a middleman who matched the vehicles’ owners to sympathetic traffic police officials.
Besides taking more than VNĐ3 billion (US$136,300) from Cần through bank transfers since 2014, Minh and Anh received VNĐ320 million (US$14,500) from a bank account registered under the names of Huỳnh Hoàng Long and Tạ Thanh Sang.
Minh received an additional VNĐ47.5 million (US$2,160) from 28 other people and Anh received VNĐ55 million (US$2,500) from nine others.
The total money the three officials took was VNĐ3.43 billion, Hạnh said, adding that the three men had confessed to the charges.
Police began investigating the case early this year.
According to the investigation, 100 transportation enterprises and companies of various sectors in Cần Thơ, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau offer bribes every month.
Hạnh had urged the companies to cooperate with the police so the illegal practice could be stopped.
The police are continuing their investigation. The city authority has asked enterprises to provide as much information as possible to the police. — VNS