Journalist and two others probed for defrauding Vietnam firm

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The Ministry of Public Security has detained three people, including a radio station journalist, for trying to defraud a glass firm in the central province of Quang Nam by posing as Vietnam Television (VTV) journalists.

Bui Xuan Hieu, 41, a journalist from the Ninh Binh Province radio station, Phan Bui Khang, 29, and Duong Kieu Trang, 23, both Hanoi residents, will be investigated for "appropriating property through swindling" and "forging seals and/or documents of agencies and/or organizations," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Sunday.

A glass firm in Ninh Binh allegedly paid Hieu VND500 million (US$23,500) to send complaints to several agencies claiming that Chu Lai Float Glass company, based in Quang Nam's Nui Thanh District, was polluting the environment. Hieu was also tasked with inciting local people in Quang Nam to sue Chu Lai.

His efforts were successful on both counts.

The moves aimed to hinder Chu Lai's expansion in Ninh Binh, PetroTimes quoted the arrestees' confession as saying.
Hieu and his alleged accomplices then met with Chu Lai officials and introduced themselves as VTV journalists reporting on the company's environmental record.

According to a report by Nui Thanh police, on December 27, each of the three accused received VND5 million from Chu Lai after a meeting with the firm to agree on the report's content and filming schedule.

On January 4, they forged a VTV introduction letter and visited the company to film the report.

They then demanded that the firm gave them $3,000 to cover their traveling costs and fees for the production.

According to PetroTimes, the company found the trio suspicious and contacted VTV for verification. Once they knew the introduction letter was a fake, they contacted the police.

Officers from the ministry caught the trio receiving the money as they were about to leave.

The ministry also summoned Duong Van Dao, owner of the glass firm in Ninh Binh, over allegations that he hired the trio to hinder Chu Lai's operations, PetroTimes reported.

Police also seized from Hieu several fake introduction letters, seals of many government agencies and newspapers and three fake journalist's cards, it reported.

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