Ho Chi Minh City prosecutors have officially charged a Tuoi Tre newspaper journalist with bribery for what he claimed was a sting operation to expose traffic police corruption.
According to the HCMC People's Procuracy, Nguyen Van Khuong, 39, well known by his pseudonym Hoang Khuong, bribed Huynh Minh Duc, 36, a former Binh Thanh District traffic police officer, to get back a motorbike seized for illegal street racing.
Duc has also been charged with "taking bribes."
According to the indictment, Duc received VND3 million from Tran Anh Tuan, the owner of a trailer truck involved in a road accident, in exchange for the release of the truck.
He also received VND15 million from Khuong to release a confiscated motorbike belonging to Tran Minh Hoa, a friend of Khuong's brother-in-law Nguyen Duc Dong Anh.
HCMC prosecutors charged Tuan, Hoa and Anh with "giving bribes."
Duc was arrested last November after Khuong exposed him taking bribes in stories published in Tuoi Tre in July.
Khuong was arrested two months later after police concluded that Ton That Hoa, a middle man, took money from Tuan and Khuong to pay Duc.
Hoa was charged with "abetting bribery."
Khuong has insisted he just performed professional activities to collect evidence and material for his articles, but the HCMC People's Procuracy said his acts were for personal purposes.
Under the Criminal Code, those found guilty of giving bribes from VND10 million to 50 million will get the jail term of 6-13 years, while the recipients will get 7-15 years.
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