Airport officials jailed for taking bribes from taxi operators

By Vo Thanh   January 18, 2023 | 12:12 am PT
Airport officials jailed for taking bribes from taxi operators
Former officials of Phu Bai Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province stand trial for taking bribes, January 16, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Van An
Former officials of an airport in central Vietnam have been jailed for taking a VND6.2 billion ($264,560) bribe from taxi firms to let them operate at a fee lower than the bidding price.

A court on Monday sentenced Do Chi Thanh, 61, former director of the Phu Bai International Airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province, to 15.5 years in prison for "taking bribes."

Also found guilty of taking bribes, Tran Xuan Long, former chief of staff-cum-accountant of the airport, received 15.5 years in jail, Le Van Loc, former deputy director, received a sentence of nine years, Le Quoc Cuong, head of the security department, was given 2.5 years and former Deputy Director Phung Tuan Duong was given three years probation.

Nguyen Van Hien, 58, director of Hoang Phu Thinh JSC, or Taxi Vang, and Nguyen Tien Duong, 35, director of Thanh Cong Hue Taxi JSC, were both sentenced to seven years in prison for "giving bribes."

Phu Bai International Airport was authorized by the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to choose three taxi firms to offer transport service at the airport via auction. Each firm would be given 12 parking spots and one pick-up spot.

Taxi Vang bid VND505 million a month and Thanh Cong Hue VND180 million a month.

The winning bid price was settled at VND342.5 million per month for each firm, half of bidding sums of the two firms.

The verdict said Duong had approached the airport officials, asking them to reduce the monthly fees.

The airport officials agreed to reduce the fee from VND342.5 million per month to VND285.5 million for Taxi Vang and VND200 million per month for Thanh Cong Hue.

However, the price stated in the contract with the two firms was only VND120 million each.

Long then ordered Hien and Duong to submit the difference in the two amounts to him, Thanh and their accomplices every month.

Between October 2017 and December 2020, the airport officials pocketed VND6.2 billion from the two taxi firms.

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