Former Vietnamese Government Minister Draws Life Term in Corruption Case

A former Vietnamese government minister and his deputy were sentenced on Saturday to a life term and 14 years in prison respectively in a case of corruption that is said to have cost the state budget almost U.S. $3 million, media sources said.

Son Bac Nguyen, former Minister of Information and Communications, and his deputy Tuan Quoc Tran were convicted by the Hanoi People’s Court for accepting bribes to arrange the acquisition of private TV company Audio Visual Global (AVG) by the state-controlled telecom firm MobiFone.

The acquisition, for which Son was paid U.S. $3 million and  Tuan was paid U.S. $200,000 by AVG director Vu Nhat Pham, resulted in benefits to Vu and other company shareholders at a much higher value than AVG’s real worth, causing the losses to MobiFone, investigators found.

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