Vietnam News

Former Hanoi chairman jailed five years for appropriating classified documents

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Former Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung has been sentenced to five years in jail for masterminding the appropriation of classified documents.

The appropriation took place in a case involving smuggling and money laundering allegations against tech company Nhat Cuong, which is still under investigation.

In a closed trial held Friday, the Hanoi People’s Court found Chung, 53, guilty of the charge of appropriating classified documents, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail under Vietnam’s Penal Code.

Three others were also sentenced to different jail terms in the same case.

Pham Quang Dung, 37, a former official with the anti-corruption police department at the Ministry of Public Security, was given a jail term of four years and six months.

Nguyen Hoang Trung, 37, Chung’s driver and a former police officer, got two years.

Nguyen Anh Ngoc, 46, former deputy head of the editorial department at the city’s People’s Committee, was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The court said it was taking cognizance of the fact that Chung and his three accomplices admitted to their violations and expressed remorse in handing them lighter sentences than those prescribed in the Penal Code.

Due to his poor health, Chung was allowed to sit down while answering questions.

The former chairman admitted he was the mastermind in the case. He apologized to the Communist Party, the State and all voters, said lawyer Giang Hong Thanh, who represented him.

Chung was arrested in August and the other three a month earlier. Their arrests were part of an investigation into the misappropriation of state secret documents in a case involving possible “smuggling, accounting violations, laundering and bidding violations causing serious consequences” at Hanoi tech giant Nhat Cuong Technical Services Trading Co. Ltd.

Investigators said Chung got in touch with Dung through a third party. Dung, who was involved in the Nhat Cuong investigation, was asked to collect relevant information and find out if the roles of Chung and his wife were being probed.

Between July last year and June this year, Dung stole nine classified documents on five occasions. He copied the documents at work and brought them home, even breaking into the office of an official using a forged key.

He handed over the classified documents to Chung on three occasions and was given $10,000 for the job, the indictment said.

Meanwhile, Trung received three other classified documents and asked Ngoc to print them out and give them to Chung.

Vietnam is engaged in a prolonged corruption crackdown spearheaded by Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong that has seen several high-profile government officials, top military officers and businessmen arrested and jailed for various crimes from graft to money laundering.

By Pham Du – – December 11, 2020

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