The man swindled around US$780,000 from Thanh Nien Newspaper
Ngo Van Quang poses for a photo with a "V" at the trial. Photo credit: VnExpress
A Hanoi court on Tuesday handed down the life sentence to a former police officer for swindling around VND17 billion (US$780,000) from Thanh Nien Newspaper a decade ago.
Ngo Van Quang, 47, a former officer of Ba Dinh District’s Police Division, stood trial along with seven accomplices, whose sentences ranged from probation to nine months.
The Hanoi People’s Court delivered the sentence after a week-long hearing.
In early 2013, Quang and his group were also tried by the court, with the same sentences delivered to them.
But after the convicts appealed, the Supreme People’s Court ordered fresh investigations into the case.
The case started in 1999 when Hanoi's municipal administration allocated around 4,000 square meters of land to Thanh Nien for its housing and office projects.
However, site clearance work for the project did not go smoothly as many displaced residents refused to relocate and did not accept the compensation money.
Disagreement between the residents and the newspaper stalled work on the projects.
Quang, who himself was among the displaced residents, told Thanh Nien he would act as a representative for the residents and promised to seek for an agreement with the newspaper.
In 2005, he signed an agreement with Thanh Nien in which 30 residents accepted the compensation money and pledged to give the land by October 18, 2008.
He received around VND17 billion as advance payment from Thanh Nien.
But when the deadline came, the residents still refused to move.
Following an investigation, police found Quang had made a fake list of residents and forged other documents in the agreement signed with Thanh Nien.
He then kept around VND10 billion for his personal spending and gave the remaining money to his accomplices.