A man was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City Thursday for allegedly blackmailing traffic police officers who had “sympathetically” reduced fines on his violations.
Pham Quang Thai, 25, was caught when he was receiving VND20 million (US$947) from a traffic police officer, Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh (HCMC Law) newspaper reported.
The police accused Thai and another man, identified only as DKU, of “extorting” money.
According to the police, Thai and DKU were riding in Nguyen Van Troi St. on Feb. 4, they saw a group of patrol traffic police. The duo intentionally committed a couple of traffic violations and was pulled over.
They asked the police officers for leniency, saying that they were fresh graduates who had not money to pay fine.
The police somehow “showed sympathy” and only fined them for a minor violation.
Thai and U. secretly filmed the entire bargaining scene.
After they were let go, they immediately returned and told the officers they had proof of their wrongdoings.
They claimed to work as stringers of the Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh newspaper, and asked the officers to pay some “compensation” lest they would send the evidence to the police command and the newspaper.
Thai gave the officers his mobile phone number and asked them to contact him.
The police then contacted the newspaper, which denied Thai’s stringer claim.
They set up a trap, promising to pay Thai the “compensation” on Feb. 12, and arrested him when he was receiving the money.
The police said Thai and DKU had used this plot to entrap other police officers several times before being caught.
The police said Thai is in custody for investigation into the charge of extorting assets. They said they are also looking into DKU’s involvement with Thai.
But they didn't clarify whether the officers had really committed any wrongdoing.