Hanoi police have completed an investigation and proposed criminal charges against 16 people involved in a long-running meter fraud scheme at a gas station since 2014.
The accused are 13 managers and employees of the gas station in Hai Ba Trung District and three men who sold meter-rigging electronic chips.
On December 24, market management officers made surprise checks at the station on Tran Khat Chan Street, owned by Hanoi Fuel JSC, and discovered electronic chips attached to some of the pumps there.
The chips allegedly reduced the gasoline amount pumped into a vehicle by around 5 percent, authorities said.
According to investigators, the people at the station, including the manager Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, in April 2014 decided to buy three chips for VND75 million (US$3,360). Ngo Duc Toan, the buyer, reportedly bought them at a flea market for VND1.5 million.
The group also bought three remote control units in June that year from another man, Ngo Tuan Anh, to be able to manipulate the system from afar.
By the time the case was busted last December, the station had stolen at least VND5 billion worth of fuel from customers.
Each of the employees reportedly pocketed around VND500,000 per shift, while their manager got a fixed monthly sum of up to VND15 million.
They have surrendered more than VND1.6 billion.
In May 2015, an employee from the station was reassigned to be head of a sister station in Gia Lam District. He has also been accused of installing electronic chips for swindling. This second case is still being investigated.