Vietnam ex-cops charged with earning interest on evidence

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A team of Vietnamese inspectors announced plans on Tuesday to seek charge of "abuse of power" against three former police officials in the Mekong Delta.

According to inspectors from the People's Supreme Procuracy, the nation's highest prosecutorial body, three former police officers from the southern province of Tien Giang pocketed nearly VND1.4 billion (US$67,300) between the end of 2002 and October of 2006. 

The inspection findings allege that Ngo Thanh Phong, a former chief inspector at the Tien Giang police department conspired with two of his subordinates to earn interest on money seized during several fuel smuggling cases. 

Inspectors say that Phong together with Nguyen Van Nen, deputy chief of the team, Pham Van Ut, a cashier, deposited nearly VND30 billion ($1.44 million) and over US$200,000 into personal accounts.

The trio then siphoned the interest into their agency's fund, from which Phong drew over VND1.1 billion ($52,800).

Nen took over VND34 million ($1,600), and Ut was given VND9 million ($432), according to the findings.

Under Vietnamese law, all currency confiscated as evidence must be submitted to the State Treasury.

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