Leaders of the firefighting police department in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday said sorry to the local company that was forced to pay money to make a compulsory fire prevention document by two officers.
Colonel Huynh Van Quyen accompanied by three other officials from the Binh Tan Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department arrived at the company of T. to express their apologies.
“That some of our officers went corrupt is such a shame and disappointment to our unit and also a wake-up call for us to better manage our firefighting staff,” Col. Quyen said.
“I would like to extend my sincere apology, as the leader of the department, to the company and expect empathy and understanding from its executives.”
On behalf of the unit, Col. Quyen pledged to focus on educating and training his officers to improve their manners when working with the public.
The two firefighting police officers involved in the case admitted the act in their reports and have been suspended from work, according to the colonel.
Further punishment will be imposed upon the two individuals to deter future corruption, Col. Quyen underlined.
The firm, which is a small-sized business specializing in machinery, was set up in 2007 and has met with several challenges in their recent business activities, the owner said when talking to leaders of the Binh Tan firefighting police department.
He also expressed his belief that corruption is found only among a few firefighting officers, and that the firefighting police would better cooperate with ordinary citizens to effectively implement regulations on fire prevention and fighting.
Le Thanh Binh and Nguyen Huy Khang from the Binh Tan firefighting police department were discovered using threats to demand VND3 million (US$133) from T.’s company for having its obligatory fire prevention document prepared and approved, and extorting VND1 million ($44) as fees to periodically train the company’s staff in fire prevention.
In Vietnam, each company and state agency is required to prepare their own fire prevention document every year to submit to local firefighting police departments and to provide training for their staffers in terms of fire safety.
Any of the entities failing to fulfill one of the two requirements will be fined by the firefighting police with pecuniary penalties reaching over VND10 million ($444) each case.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper was informed by the company owner about the two officers’ corrupt behavior and carried out an investigation into the case to expose it.
Colonel Le Tan Buu, chief of the Ho Chi Minh Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department, confirmed that the report this week by the newspaper is true, adding that he is waiting for the result of an official probe into the wrongdoing.