10 Vietnamese jailed for involvement in fake diploma ring

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Ten defendants standing trial in Da Nang Tuesday for making fake diplomas for sell. Photo by Nguyen Tu

Ten members of Da Nang's largest fake diploma ring were sentenced Tuesday to a maximum of three years in jail.

Dang Tuan Anh, a 57-year-old printing technician, received the highest punishment for directly making the diplomas under orders, and later running his own operation around the central city.

The indictment said he was first hired by Tran Ngoc Anh, 61, in 2004 to produce frames for fake certificates and diplomas for between VND20,000-600,000 (US$1-28) apiece.

Ngoc Anh then made the fake stamps and signatures himself and provided the completed diplomas to Doan Sy Nguyen, 31, for VND3 million ($141) apiece. Nguyen charged customers more than fourfold that price.

Nguyen received an 18-month suspended sentence; Ngoc Anh was sentenced to two years in prison.

Tuan Anh expanded the operation, hiring Nguyen Hang Minh and Tran Vinh Thuy to cover the technical aspects, and three others including Nguyen Xuan Hoang, Vuong Hoa Binh and Bui Tan Phat to find buyers.

He was responsible for the production of fake stamps from many universities, education departments and even the education ministry.

Minh then hired Cao Thi Ngoc Dung to work for him and Dung pulled in another member who received a one month suspended sentence, the same penalty as Binh and Phat.

Dung received a three-year prison sentence because she was previously convicted and served a two-year sentence also for counterfeiting government agency stamps and documents.

Minh was sentenced to two and a half years in jail; Thuy got two years; and Hoang one year.

The ten were also fined VND60 million and asked to return nearly VND95 million they received for the fake diplomas.

Police have collected 27 of the diplomas, and first investigations found that at least seven had been ordered by students' parents.

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