Cops caught with hands in the till in southern Vietnam, punished

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Police in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long Sunday demoted an officer and warned and reprimanded four others for various wrongdoings, including embezzlement of money meant for buying fuel.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Chau Van Trang, chief of the waterway police division (PC68), was demoted as deputy chief.

Two of his deputies, Colonel Nguyen Van Tre and Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Viet Dap, were warned.

Major Huynh Tan Dung and Senior Lieutenant Doan Van Tri, also PC68 officers, were reprimanded.

Vinh Long police inspectors started investigating the five officers following charges by a source quoted in Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper January 21 that the officers committed various wrongdoings.

The source said the officers reported to have spent VND4.4 billion (US$209,125) for fuel for patrolling, but in fact only spent VND2.8 billion ($133,000) and put the remaining VND1.6 billion in a "fund" for entertaining guests and other expenses.

By the time the inspectors entered the picture, however, only VND363 million ($17,252) was left.

The officers were also accused of embezzling VND118 million ($5,600) by selling lifebuoys.

They also allegedly violated other regulations, the complainant said.

The Vinh Long police investigated and found that all the accusations were true.

Major General Le Van Ut, chief of the Vinh Long Province police, asked Lao Dong to reveal the source, but his request was turned down.

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