A court in southern Vietnam on Thursday sentenced two police officers to 15 and 17 years in jail for doctoring salary records to steal money from the police department of Kien Giang Province.
Pham Van Manh, chief accountant of the department, and Trinh Thi Ngoc Nhung, the cashier, were charged with embezzlement.
According to the case file, they inflated the total salary payment of the department in financial records to pocket the difference, stealing around VND13.5 billion, or nearly US$630,000, from 2009 to 2013.
Manh, 43, received 17 years as the mastermind of the crime and Nhung, 38, 15 years as his accomplice.
Manh said he found out that the accounting software which the Ministry of Public Security set up for his department had a "loophole", allowing changes to be made to financial records.
He persuaded Nhung many times to join him in the scheme and she finally agreed to help.
The two could have faced a jail term of at least 20 years given the value of the stolen money.
But prosecutors proposed reduced punishments as both were cooperative during the investigation and have returned most of the money.
Nguyen Thanh Tam, head of the police department, was censured while the deputy head, Mai Hoang Son, was demoted.