BAC NINH (VNS)— The People's Court in northern Bac Ninh Province yesterday sentenced 40 former soldiers to between eight months' and seven years' imprisonment for unlawfully appropriating property and defrauding the Government of more than VND2.2 billion (US$104,000).
It was reported that the defendants had benefited from fraudulent disability benefits made to them as servicemen.
The longest sentence, seven years in jail, was given to Le Tuan Nghenh, a 58-year-old man from Thuan Thanh District. Nghenh also was forced to compensate the State more than VND140 million ($6,600).
Nguyen Van Dap, Nuyen Dat Truong and Le Sy Toai, were sentenced to 24, 30,15 months' jail respectively. The three were forced to compensate the State more than VND105 million ($5,000).
Thirty six other defendants were sentenced from eight to 30 months' probation.
The indictment by the provincial People's Procuracy said Nghenh asked Le Dinh Thao, a doctor at Army Central Hospital 110 in the province's Bac Ninh City, to make fake health documents to help 42 local residents receive veterans' benefits from the Government from 2003-2006.
The 42 local residents had served in the army and had no disabilities or made false statements about their disabilities to receive more benefits.
Three of them who promptly refunded the money unlawfully appropriated received administrative fines.
According to the jury, the defendants' actions violated laws and policies and sullied the image of "Uncle Ho's soldiers".
The defendants were treated more leniently because they had made contributions to Viet Nam's independence and freedom and some had received several certificate of merits.
Other individuals involved in the ring, including Tran Phu Van and Nguyen Khac Dong, former director and deputy director of the hospital, were handed over to the Investigation Agency at Military Zone I under the Ministry of Defence for further investigation. — VNS