Vietnam jails whistleblower linked to bribery case

A court in Vietnam's Central Highlands has sentenced a Vietnamese man to four and a half years in jail for “giving bribes” in a corruption case that he himself had exposed, local media reported.

Tran Minh Loi, 49, was found guilty along with five people for "giving bribes" to the police in Dak Nong Province in exchange for the release of several gamblers a year ago, Thanh Nien newspaper said.

The People's Court in Dak Nong opened the hearing on March 22 against Loi and another seven people, including a policeman in Dak Mil District and a bank executive.  

Police in Dak Mil District arrested six people for gambling in January last year.

vietnam jails whistleblower linked to bribery case hinh 0
Tran Minh Loi was arrested by Dak Nong Police on March 22, 2016 on suspicion of bribery. 

Lanh Thanh Binh, a Dak Mil police officer, suggested that the gamblers would be released if they agreed to give him and two other officers some money, Thanh Nien said.

One of the gamblers told his family about the solicitation and they told Loi, who is known by many in his province as an active whistleblower, using his Facebook page “Diet giac noi xam” (Destroying domestic invaders) to upload video clips as evidence of corruption by local officials and police.

Loi advised them to have a meeting with Binh. They secretly recorded and filmed the meeting, where the officer received VND60 million (US$2,640).

With the evidence, Loi filed complaints against three officers. Binh was arrested while the other two were suspended.

Several relatives of the gamblers were also arrested on charges of “giving bribes”.

The court gave Binh one-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for abuse of power.

At the trial, the judge panel did not believe Loi’s argument that his involvement was only to expose corruption. It said Loi had used the evidence to threaten Binh first, Vietnam News Agency reported.

In the same hearing, the court found Loi guilty for giving bribes to a bank executive in Dak Lak Province to get access to a soft loan in April 2014.  

Before his arrest, Loi had collected evidence of corruption by provincial government officials and police.

Thanks to his work, dozens of police officers have been disciplined.


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