Vietnamese ranger arrested for taking bribe from timber smuggler

By Que Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Logs seized by Binh Thuan police on January 12. Photo: Nghi An Logs seized by Binh Thuan police on January 12. Photo: Nghi An

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Police in Binh Thuan Province have arrested a forest ranger on suspicion of receiving a bribe from a smuggler to help him pass through checkpoints in the central province with a truck full of timber. 
Dang Quoc An of Ham Tan District Forest Protection Agency will remain in custody for four months pending investigation, police said Saturday.
Preliminary investigation found that Ngo Xuan Viet was driving a truck with 46 sapele logs from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to Binh Thuan on January 12.
At around 7:30 a.m., the truck was pulled over by a team of park rangers in Binh Thuan, including An and his fellow officer Le Quoc Van.
After Viet was unable to produce papers for the timber, An received a bribe and let him go, investigators said, without elaborating on the amount of money involved.
A police source told Thanh Nien that An and Van even helped the truck hide at a roadside café.
At around 9 p.m. on the same day, the duo was leading the truck on the National Highway 1A when it was pulled over by Ham Tan police.
They busted the case and seized the logs for investigation.
It was unclear whether police would take any measures against Van.

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