Dong Nai traffic cops accuse superiors of greased palms

By Phuoc Tuan   November 24, 2019 | 04:55 pm PT
Dong Nai traffic cops accuse superiors of greased palms
A traffic police officer checks a truck driver's papers in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
Two Dong Nai traffic cops have accused their local superiors of frequently letting violators off the hook because they ‘have paid the team.’

According to a traffic police captain who had worked at Team 2 of the Dong Nai Traffic Police, the unit responsible for patrolling National Highway 20 that connects the province with the Central Highlands' Da Lat, his patrol had arrested overloaded cars many times, only for superiors to say that "they had paid."

Just minutes after they had the arrest, a leader of Team 2 would call, name the registration number of the overloaded vehicle, and order the patrol team to let it go. This also happened many times with Team 1 in the same department, said the captain, who did not wish to be named.

After voicing his complaint at a meeting on the issue last month, the captain was transferred from Team 2 to Team 1.

The complaint, along with dozens of videos and audio recordings as evidence of leaders of the Dong Nai Police "protecting violating vehicles," has been sent to local and central authorities a month ago, said another officer, who also did not wish to be named.

The documents also accused Team 2 leaders of siphoning off meal allowances, holiday pay and night shift pay from police officers. For many years, invoices and vouchers for these sums have been given bogus signatures, the complainants alleged.

Only after a complaint had been filed would the police department call him up and ask him to pick up his dues, the captain said.

Speaking to VnExpress over the phone Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Pham Hai Cang, Leader of Team 2 in the Dong Nai Police Department, denied all allegations.

"The phone calls I made to patrol officers were only to check up on how they were handling violating vehicles. There was absolutely no protection or interference, and the videos posted online are one-way, fabricated by the officer himself," Cang said.

Filing a complaint is a right of all officers. Currently, one of the accusing officers is still working with Team 2, while the other was transferred to Team 1 because the team required more personnel, he said.

"I have nothing more to say. Inspectors are working on this matter so we can only await their conclusion," he added.

Colonel Van Quyet Thang, Deputy Director of Dong Nai Police, said that he had received the complaints, and will hold a meeting this week to investigate the issue.

"Officers found to have violated laws will be punished, there will be no protection for them," Thang said.

Last month, an appeal court in Ho Chi Minh City ordered a thorough investigation of 80 police officers who allegedly ran a protection racket that involved letting overloaded trucks through.

It has been alleged that many businesses get away by paying bribes to police officers for not taking action against overloaded trucks.

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