Hoang Khuong, 39, was arrested Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Khuong published a series of articles in the Tuoi Tre Newspaper last year that condemned traffic police for taking bribes to ignore violations.

The reporter assumed the identity of a traffic violator whose motorbike had been seized, and gave 15 million dong (715 dollars) through a broker to a former police official to get the vehicle returned.

Khuong exposed the bribery in the newspaper, which caused public anger about police corruption.

'Hoang Khuong had no criminal motive' for bribing the former official, lawyer Vu Loi was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper An Ninh Thu Do.

The accused only became involved 'to fight against corruption,' the lawyer said.

Another lawyer, Trinh Anh Dung, was quoted as saying that Khuong 'should be praised as a good example in fighting corruption.'

Deutsche Presse Agentur - January 3, 2011

Journalist arrested on bribery charges in Vietnam metro

olice in Ho Chi Minh City Monday arrested a journalist at Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on charges of “giving bribes.”

Nguyen Van Khuong, 39, who is famous for his articles on traffic police corruption under the penname Hoang Khuong, was allegedly involved in the bribery case of Huynh Minh Duc, former officer of Binh Thanh District’s traffic police division.

Duc was arrested on November 18 last year for taking bribes from a traffic violator, after Khuong exposed his acts in articles published in July.

However, on December 3, Tuoi Tre announced that it had suspended Khuong and reviewed his work when writing the articles.

According to the newspaper, the suspension was in response to HCMC’s police division’s proposal to withdraw Khuong’s journalist license and review his work.

Police‘s initial information indicated that in June, Duc, the arrested cop. received bribes from Tran Anh Tuan, the owner of a trailer truck, which was seized after causing an accident. In return, he allowed Tuan to take the truck back.

Ton That Hoa, director of Duy Nguyen Co., was also arrested for brokering the bribe. Meanwhile, Tuan was let free while being investigated on charges of “giving bribes.”

A report on Dan Viet (Vietnamese people), the news website of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union, quoted police’s decision to arrest Hoa as saying that Hoa received money from Tuan and Khuong to pay Duc.

The case is being investigated.

Thanh Nien News - January 2, 2012