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Traffic police chiefs suspended over ‘protection money’ allegation in southern Vietnam

Friday, December 06, 2019, 13:45 GMT+7
Traffic police chiefs suspended over ‘protection money’ allegation in southern Vietnam
A traffic police officer deals with an overloaded truck in the southern province of Dong Nai in this screen grab taken from one of the videos.

Two traffic police officials in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai have been suspended from work while investigators look into allegations that the two received ‘protection money’ from truck operators in order to ignore their traffic violations.

Lieutenant Colonel Pham Hai Cang, chief of the province’s traffic police unit No. 2, and Lieutenant Colonel Phan Cam Tu, deputy chief of traffic police unit No. 1, were handed a two-month suspension on Friday following a decision from Colonel Vu Hong Van, director of the Dong Nai police department.

Investigators are currently working to verify whether or not Cang and Tu have been receiving monthly ‘protection money’ from local truck operators in order to ignore their traffic offenses along National Highway 20.

The accusations were made by several traffic policemen who have provided video and sound recordings as proof.

In one of the clips, traffic policemen appeared to have pulled over a truck that exceeded the weight limit on National Highway 20.

A truck driver claims his employer had already paid ‘protection money’ after being pulled over in this screen grab taken from one of the video clips.

A truck driver claimed his employer had already paid ‘protection money’ after being pulled over in this screen grab taken from one of the videos.

While they were dealing with the violation, they received a phone call from their team leader and were asked to let the truck go without booking the case, as the operator of the truck had already paid money to their superior.

During a recent working session with investigators, Cang and Tu confirmed that it was their voices that were heard on the phone in the videos and recordings supplied by the accusers.

Aside from Cang and Tu, multiple officers in their respective traffic police units have been questioned about their superiors’ misdoings.

Investigators are also working to verify the role of a man who referred to himself as “Nam” in some of the videos. 

The traffic police who were questioned said that Nam acted as a mediator between the police chiefs and local truck operators and that he had significant influence over several traffic police officials.

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