4 face charges in massive gasoline theft at Vietnam company

By Thanh Nguyen, Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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4 face charges in massive gasoline theft at Vietnam company

Vietnam’s highest office of prosecutors has ratified charges against four people for stealing more than 296 tons of gasoline from Vietnam Air Petrol Company (Vinapco), an affiliate of state carrier Vietnam Airlines.

Nguyen Hai Trieu, dismissed acting director of Vinapco’s Northern Aviation Petroleum Enterprise, was charged with smuggling, while Nguyen Van Thinh, dismissed deputy chief of the enterprise’s planning department, was charged with dereliction of duty.

Two others -- Nguyen Minh Tan, dismissed staff of Ngo Quyen Construction Company in the northern city of Hai Phong, and Pham Ngoc Hiep, a Hai Phong resident -- also face smuggling charges.

According to the indictment issued by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, on July 7 and 10, 2012, Vinapco, which is headquartered in Hanoi, applied for the re-export of 296.6 tons of A92 petrol to a company in China.

Under the declared plan, the consignment, which was kept at the Dinh Vu oil and petrol storage unit in Hai Phong, would be transported in seven tanker trucks through the Ta Lung border gate in the northern province of Cao Bang.

However, Trieu, 50, together with Tan, 66, and Hiep, 30, did not send the consignment to Ta Lung, but sold it locally for more than VND8 billion (US$376,875).

After the sale, Tan and Trieu borrowed an equal amount of petrol to complete the re-export procedure, but later brought the consignment back, declaring it as having been re-imported.

Prosecutors said Thinh, 57, was in charge of securing the transport of the gasoline from the storage to Ta Lung, and submitting all necessary documents with the border gate’s customs for the re-export.

But, he assigned the job to his staff, allowing three others to steal the gasoline.

According to prosecutors, the state exchequer suffered losses of VND1.64 billion ($77,260) in taxes in the case.

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