Thứ Ba, 8 tháng 8, 2017

Vietnamese reporter arrested for extorting businesses in Mekong Delta

The correspondent did not even own the articles 
Vietnamese reporter arrested for extorting businesses in Mekong Delta
Pham Le Hoang Uyen is held at the police station in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Police in Can Tho City, located in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, have arrested a reporter for receiving bribes in return for the removal of published articles which she claimed to be written by her.
Pham Le Hoang Uyen, 41, a correspondent from the Hanoi-based Huong Nghiep va Hoa Nhap Magazine, was caught red-handed accepting approximately VND280 million (US$12,269) from two businesses on Sunday, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Duong, chief of staff of the Can Tho Department of Police, affirmed on Monday.
An investigation revealed that the Ho Chi Minh City-based Women’s Newspaper had published three articles between July 31 and August 4, revealing violations by several companies in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang.
Claiming that the reports were written by her, Uyen told directors of the relevant businesses to pay her VND700 million ($30,673) in return for their removal.
The reporter said she was about to release another article if the companies refused to cooperate, stressing that the removal fee would then increase to VND1 billion ($43,819).
After reaching a deal, Uyen traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho to receive the money at a local café and was there arrested by police officers.
Uyen’s initial statement said that she had not worked alone, Colonel Tran Ngoc Hanh, director of the Can Tho police department, said, adding that the agency is expanding the case to identify other potential accomplices.
Vietnamese reporter arrested for extorting businesses in Mekong Delta
The money Uyen received is kept at the police station. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Meanwhile, Le Huyen Ai My, editor-in-chief of the Women’s Newspaper, asserted that Uyen does not work for the publisher and is not involved in the series of articles mentioned.
“Uyen taking advantage of the stories published by our newspaper to extort businesses breaches our code of ethics. We hope that the authorities will bring her and any other accomplices to justice to defend the reputation of journalism in this country,” My remarked.
In a similar story, Nguyen The Thang, 41, a journalist from a branch of Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) in the Central Highlands, has also been arrested for extortion.
Local resident Hoang Van Thanh, 35, was charged for his involvement.
According to initial information, Thanh had caught several gamblers on camera and gave the footage to Thang.
The pair asked the people appearing in the video clip to pay them some money in exchange for not publicizing it.
They were also caught red-handed during their transaction at a coffee shop.
Leaders of the VOV branch are yet to give any comment on the case.
By Tuoi Tre News 

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