Reporters accused of extortion receive prison sentences

More cases of journalists blackmailing businesses have been discovered and prosecuted in the last three years.

Le Van Ly of Nhan Dao & Doi Song (Humanity and Life) online magazine has been caught by Ba Ria-Vung Tau Police extorting VND40 million from a building material company.

Reporters accused of extortion receive prison sentences

Dao Thi Thanh Binh

Just a short time before, Tran Trong Lam from Suc Khoe va Doi Song newspaper (Health and Life) was caught extorting VND210 million from the Kinh Do Clinic headquartered in Bac Giang province.

Lam, after discovering that the clinic made some mistakes, threatened its shareholders, telling them if they did not pay him in exchange for his silence, he would write articles about the mistakes and publish them in the newspaper.

Two other reporters, including Tran Tuyet Nhung and Bui Thi Xuan, also got involved in the case, and were detained by the Bac Giang Police.

On July 20, the Thanh Hoa Police issued a decision to prosecute and detain six defendants, including two reporters from the Tai Chinh Doanh Nghiep Magazine (Corporate Finance) for extorting assets.

On May 12, some strangers came to see Ho Dinh Tung, deputy chair of Tinh Gia district People’s Committee, and asked for consultancy on compensation for site clearance. After an exchange, a man put a notebook with banknotes inside Tung’s hands and filmed the scene.

The strangers used the clip to extort Tung, demanding VND5 billion. Tung then asked for help from the police.

More cases of journalists blackmailing businesses have been discovered and prosecuted in the last three years.
 

On December 20, 2018, the Bac Giang Police released a decision to take legal proceedings against Dao Thi Thanh Binh, who was then a reporter of Thuong Hieu va Cong Luan newspaper (Brand and Public Opinion), for extorting assets.

Binh discovered that Luxshare-ICT Vietnam, a foreign invested enterprise in Bac Giang province, with 4,000 workers, started building dormitories for workers while it was still waiting for licensing. She contacted the company and told the company to pay money, or Binh would write an article about the problem.

Binh, through a broker, said she wanted $100,000 in exchange for her silence. She was told that the company accepted to pay $70,000.

The company reported the case to the police and Binh was arrested.

On October 31, 2019, the Dong Hoi City Police in Quang Binh province released the decision to put Nguyen Huu Nhat, born in 1993, in Quang Hoa commune, Ba Don Town, into detention for property appropriation.

The police caught Nhat extorting VND8 million from Dong Hoi Hospital.

In August 2019, the My Tho Court sentenced Phan Dung in HCMC to 8 years and 6 months in prison and Nguyen Van Uan in Dak Lak for 7 years in prison on charges of asset appropriation. 

Le Bang - N. Hien

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