254 charged in vehicle registration corruption case

By Hai Duyen   May 2, 2024 | 12:08 am PT
254 charged in vehicle registration corruption case
Former head of the Vietnam Register Dang Viet Ha (C) is arrested by police officers. Photo courtesy of the HCMC police
Two former heads of the Vietnam Register are among 254 people who have been charged with multiple crimes including bribery after neglecting violations in registration procedures for vehicles.

Vietnam Register's former head Dang Viet Ha was charged with receiving bribes, while his predecessor Tran Ky Hinh was charged with receiving bribes and power abuse, according to documents submitted to the HCMC People's Court.

252 others under the Vietnam Register and numerous vehicle registration centers in HCMC, Long An, Ben Tre and Soc Trang were also charged with receiving bribes and power abuse, along with document forgery, fraud and corruption.

Authorities said that Ha, as head of the Vietnam Register, had neglected management and oversight, letting departments under the Vietnam Register commit systemic violations over a long period of time.

When violations were detected, Ha did not deal with them, and instead issued further policies and instructions for vehicle registration and evaluation centers to receive bribes over "personal interests," where Ha received the biggest slice of the cake.

Prosecutors said Ha must be held responsible for over VND40 billion ($1.57 million) worth of bribes received.

He was accused of profiting a total of $359,729.

Hinh committed similar violations, being accused of receiving bribes and neglecting violations regarding approvals for registration centers and the evaluation of vehicles.

Authorities said Hinh had received over $279,000 worth of bribes.

Among the 254 charged were also officials and employees at the Vietnam Auto Register (VAR), which evaluates designs for vehicle renovation.

Tran Anh Quan, acting head of VAR, is considered to be the most powerful among them.

Since assuming his position in March 2019, Quan has brought out initiatives to skip errors on design documents, for the sake of issuing certificates of vehicle renovation for companies.

Quan decided on how to split bribe money with 12 officers at VAR, and is responsible for the VND60 billion worth of bribes received.

He also received $9,500 worth of bribes himself during the evaluation and approval of a vehicle registration center. Prosecutors said Quan had profited with a total of $462,612.

The police had seized over VND43 billion, along with several other properties, in its investigation.

The widespread investigation on violations regarding vehicle registration has resulted in 114 cases involving over 800 suspects last year.

The case is considered to be an organized, systematic corruption case, ranging from the leadership of the Vietnam Register to numerous vehicle registration centers nationwide.

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