Wednesday , February 8 2023

Former Vietnam Register head arrested for accepting bribes


Former director of the Vietnam Register Tran Ky Hinh was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday following accusations of accepting bribes from several vehicle registration centers when he was in office.

The arrest of Hinh, 62, is the latest development of an ongoing investigation into vehicle registration centers across the country taking bribes to ignore vehicles’ failure to meet requirements.

On Wednesday last week, Dang Viet Ha, director of the Vietnam Register; Tran Anh Quan, acting head of the motor vehicle inspection department; deputy head Dang Tran Khanh; and registrar Pham Duc Ngoc were also arrested to be investigated for accepting bribes.

Tran Ky Hinh (R), Former director of the Vietnam Register, and the registers officials Hoang Huu Thinh, Truong Duy Duc, Ho Ngoc Nam and Tran The Khanh Ho are summoned by the HCMC police, January 17, 2023. Photo courtesy of HCMC police

Tran Ky Hinh (R), Former director of the Vietnam Register, and the register’s officials Hoang Huu Thinh, Truong Duy Duc, Ho Ngoc Nam and Tran The Khanh Ho are summoned by the HCMC police, January 17, 2023. Photo courtesy of HCMC police

From 2014 to August 2021, Hinh, as chief of the Vietnam Register, let Quan receive bribes from certain directors of vehicle registration centers to overlook violations.

During his time as chief, Hinh also neglected management and monitoring, and also received bribes himself and overlook violations.

Also related to the case, Hoang Huu Thinh, 31, Truong Duy Duc, 41, Ho Ngoc Nam, 34 and Tran The Khanh Ho, 34, all employees of certain vehicle registration centers, were arrested to be investigated for “Manufacturing, trading, exchanging, giving instruments, equipment, software serving illegal purposes.”

Upon a raid into vehicle registration centers in HCMC, police found that Thinh, Duc, Nam and Ho had collaborated and created a software to intercept the centers’ database to change values required to meet registration approval, then sold that software to other vehicle registration centers.

So far, 89 people, including officials and registrars, have been arrested to be investigated for bribery and forgery of documents. Over 20 vehicle registration centers across the country have been suspended for the investigation.

Authorities said around 70,000 vehicles had been registered with their violations overlooked. The centers had issued 52,300 emissions control certificates without properly inspecting vehicles, they said, adding they had pocketed tens of billions of dong in bribes (VND1 billion = US$43,000).

Before 2019 all vehicle registration centers were state agencies. Then the government allowed private operators to set them up if they met certain conditions imposed by the Ministry of Transport.

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