Man probed for stealing steel firm's software

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Vietnamese police is investigating a man in Ho Chi Minh City for allegedly stealing the copyrighted software of a foreign-invested steel company and sold it for over US$84,000, local media reported Monday.

Tran Ngoc Hien, a 26-year-old employee at the HCMC branch of the Hanoi-based Zamil Steel Vietnam Company, was arrested on September 16 when he was withdrawing money from a bank account at Dong A Bank in HCMC.

The bank account number was given in an online advertisement which offered to sell the software, and the money Hien was withdrawing, which totaled VND105 million, was the payments made by three buyers, the public security ministry newspaper Cong An Nhan Dan reported.

The Saudi Arabian-owned company has used exclusively since 2005 the Advanced Steel Frame Analysis and Design software, which was transfered to it by the Zamil Industrial Investment Group.

Zamil Steel Vietnam informed the police of Hanoi in August that someone had stolen the software and was selling it online, according to media report.

The seller claimed he owned the software and offering the software, bundled with the data library, for VND30 million ($1,440).

The customers were asked to transfer the payment to Hien's bank account, police said, adding that the email address given in the online sale advertisement also belonged to Hien.

The Cong An Nhan Dan quoted police as saying that Hien admitted selling the software to get money for his planned wedding.

Investigations into the case are underway.

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