Vietnam's top prosecutors' office has proposed charging two of its own with abuse of power charges.
The Supreme People's Procuracy issued a statement Tuesday saying an internal investigation had uncovered evidence that two of the office's prosecutors had abused their power while undertaking working on a major smuggling case last year.
In a report on the investigation's findings, inspectors said that Nguyen Thi Mai Hong and Ho Xuan Thuy from the Procuracy's economic crime department were caught receiving US$1,000 in bribes on September 1 last year.
In exchange, Hong and Thuy agreed to help smugglers moving contraband from Australia into Vietnam escape from criminal charges, the report said.
A Wednesday report by the Ministry of Public Security's Cong an Nhan dan (People's Police) Online newspaper said the two smuggling suspects, Mai Phu Phong and Pham Tien Trung, were arrested at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport last year.
On August 20 that year, the two prosecutors flew to the southern city to investigate the case.
Phong then offered Hong and Thuy a bribe of VND10 million (US$480), but the prosecutors refused, saying the amount wasn't enough, the news website reported.
Hong and Thuy later returned to Hanoi and asked Phong and Trung to visit Hanoi for more interviews, and to give the prosecutors more money, according to the report.
Phong arranged to meet Hong and Thuy and transfer a bribe in Hanoi on September 1. Phong called Hong that day and said he had been in a traffic accident and needed to meet at a health clinic.
When Hong and Thuy showed up, the were met by police and arrested.
According to the news source, Trung also gave $2,000 to police, saying that Hong and Thuy had offered to help him in exchange for the sum.