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Reporter arrested for allegedly blackmailing company in northern Vietnam

Reporter arrested for allegedly blackmailing company in northern Vietnam

Thursday, December 20, 2018, 15:00 GMT+7
Reporter arrested for allegedly blackmailing company in northern Vietnam
Dao Thi Thanh Binh is held at the police station in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Police in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang have arrested a reporter for allegedly blackmailing a local business for US$70,000.

An official from the provincial police department confirmed on Tuesday they had apprehended Dao Thi Thanh Binh, a 40-year-old correspondent for the Hanoi-based Thuong Hieu va Cong Luan (Trademark and Public Opinion) newspaper, an online news outlet operated by the Vietnam Association for Anti-Counterfeiting and Trademark Protection (VATAP).

Binh was caught red-handed taking $70,000 at Thuong Hieu va Cong Luan’s headquarters from Tang Due Bang, a Chinese national residing in Bac Giang who serves as the director of external relations for Luxshare-ICT Vietnam.

Luxshare-ICT Vietnam is a Chinese-invested company which specializes in cables and connectors for computers and telecommunications devices, consumer electronics, and car and medical cables. The firm is based in Bac Giang’s Quang Chau Industrial Park.

Officers confiscated the money and a CPU during their raid on the newsroom,

A police investigation revealed that Binh had first met with Bang at Luxshare-ICT Vietnam’s headquarters to demand $100,000.

In return, she would not expose several of the firm’s legal violations in her articles.

Following several negotiations using a broker, the journalist agreed to lower the the amount to $70,000.

According to a representative from Thuong Hieu va Cong Luan, Binh had made a proposition to the editorial board for her to collect information regarding a housing project for workers of Luxshare-ICT Vietnam Company.

The board approved and wrote a referral paper for Binh to meet with the firm, the management board of Quang Chau Industrial Park, and the Bac Giang People’s Committee.

The Vietnam Journalists Association on Wednesday asked Bac Giang police to verify the case.

It also requested Thuong Hieu va Cong Luan newspaper issue a report of the case and impose a stern punishment on the reporter once her offense is confirmed.

After the investigation concludes, the association is expected to revoke her press card in accordance with protocol.

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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